Experiments of nature and clinical observations have provided indications that postponing puberty may increase final height in short children. In children with central precocious puberty, a GnRH analog (GnRHa) alone is efficacious in increasing final height, but in other conditions a combination of growth hormone (GH) and GnRHa is needed. In GH-deficient children with early onset of puberty and poor height prediction, the combination of GH and GnRHa increases final height by 1.0-1.3 s.d. In children with idiopathic short stature and persistent short stature after intrauterine growth retardation, the combination also appears to be beneficial. Potential side effects include weight gain, a negative effect on bone mineralization, and psychosocial consequences. More data on long-term safety have to be collected before the combination of GH and GnRHa in children with idiopathic short stature should be considered for clinical use outside clinical trials.
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