Does growth hormone treatment increase chromosomal abnormalities?

Mauro Bozzola, Katia Tettoni, Francesca Severi, Elena Capra, Cesare Danesino, Susi Scappaticci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The relationship between growth hormone (GH) therapy and malignancy, including leukaemias, remains controversial. In order to study this possible relationship further, we have investigated whether GH treatment induces chromosomal abnormalities in peripheral blood lymphocytes. DESIGN: Open, prospective study in a University Hospital to examine peripheral blood mononuclear cells in subjects with GH-deficiency (GHD) before and during GH treatment. SUBJECTS: Twelve idiopathic GHD patients, aged 1.8-12.5 years, were evaluated before and after 3, 6 and 12 months of GH therapy (0.6 lU/kg per week subcutaneously). Two additional GHD patients, aged 16.6 and 18 years, were studied 1 year after long-term GH therapy had been discontinued, and 12 age-matched healthy subjects were evaluated as controls. METHODS: We examined the incidence of chromosome and chromatid breaks, fragments, structural rearrangements and aneuploidies in 100 metaphases for each blood sample. A total of 5300 cells was analysed in the 14 patients. RESULTS: The proportion of cells with chromatid and chromosome breaks ranged from 0% to 6% in patients before treatment and from 1% to 5% in controls. During GH therapy the incidence of aneuploid metaphases ranged from 0% to 7% and was comparable with values observed in controls. Chromosomal loss and gain was random. CONCLUSIONS: We observed no increase in chromosomal abnormalities in GH- treated patients when compared with age-matched healthy controls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-366
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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