Auxological criteria for the diagnosis of GH-dependent short stature and prescription of rGH: problems and pitfalls

Giulio Gilli, Lodovico Benso, Lorenzo Pradelli



Recombinant growth hormone (rGH) administration is a cornerstone in the treatment of short stature secondary to GH deficit. Since its introduction in the 80s, the population of short patients with an indication to rGH therapy has clearly broadened, probably because of increased awareness by patients and physicians. Since rGH therapy is demanding for patients and expensive, the Italian National Health Service, like other third payers and regulatory authorities, regulates its prescription according to criteria listed in the Nota AIFA 39. This paper illustrates pitfalls and difficulties paediatricians may encounter when assessing short stature patients in order to decide upon the opportunity and possibility to initiate rGH therapy through the exposition of four emblematic, though hypothetical, clinical histories. In the discussion, the Authors highlight some of the most critical points in the formulation of the Nota 39, among which are the lack of clear reference values, neglecting of parental height targets and therapeutic responses, as well as some omissions in methodology specifications.


Auxology ;GH-dependent short stature; Nota AIFA 39

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