Short stature has been defined as a height below the 2 standard deviation for age, sex and ethnicity. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) represents a condition characterized by reduced GH secretion, isolated or associated with other pituitary hormone deficiencies. In a child with short stature and growth deceleration, after the exclusion of other causes of growth failure, the diagnosis of GHD has to be confirmed by measurement of GH secretion after at least two stimulation tests. Patients with GHD should be treated with rhGH as soon as possible, to obtain normalization of growth and normal final height. The catch-up growth in response to rhGH therapy is maximal during the first years and could be affected by many variables, such as birth-weight, age and height at start of treatment and of puberty, and duration of treatment. Overall, rhGH is believed to be safe and significant side-effects in children are very rare, including benign intracranial hypertension, hyperglycaemia, arthralgia and myalgia. Patients with childhood onset GHD are usually retested in late adolescence to confirm the GHD persistence and to continue of GH therapy. In conclusion, the present chapter provides useful and updated information about the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of children with GHD.
Part of the book: Restricted Growth
Celiac disease (CD) may be considered as a systemic immune-mediated disorder that is triggered by dietary gluten in genetically susceptible subjects. CD children and adolescents show typical intestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, loss of weight and abdominal distension, or extraintestinal signs, the so-called nonclassical CD, such as short stature and delayed puberty. An endocrinological investigation including an evaluation of growth hormone (GH) secretion should be performed in CD subjects who show no catch-up growth after at least 1 year on a strict gluten-free diet (GFD) in the presence of a seronegativity of anti-transglutaminase and/or antiendomysial antibodies. When the diagnosis of GH deficiency is formulated, a substitutive therapy with GH must be promptly started to obtain a complete catch-up growth. The long-term effects of GH therapy in CD children who follow a strict GFD are comparable to those found in children with idiopathic GHD. A widely documented association has been observed between CD and type I diabetes mellitus and/or Hashimoto thyroiditis and/or Addison’s disease. During follow-up, pediatricians should check antibody serology, thyroid and adrenal function and glucose-metabolic profile in order to verify the compliance with both diet and GH treatment. Adherence to a strict gluten-free diet promotes regular linear growth and may prevent CD complications as well as the onset of other autoimmune diseases.
Part of the book: Pituitary Diseases
Celiac disease (CD) affects approximately 1% of the population in Europe and North America, but the number of patients currently undiagnosed is estimated to be far higher than that of diagnosed cases owing to the presence of prevalent forms with nonspecific symptoms. The toxicity of gliadin in children with CD is not destroyed through digestion with gastropancreatic enzymes. An innate immunity to gliadin plays a key role in the development of CD. Autophagy, a physiological catabolic process, plays also a crucial role in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases. Recent studies have described functional involvement of the regulation of autophagy within a pediatric CD cohort. Furthermore, the contribution of autophagy has been highlighted in the degradation and in the reduction of extracellular release of gliadin peptides, thus suggesting novel molecular targets to counteract gliadin-induced toxicity in CD.
Part of the book: Celiac Disease