Growth

One small double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study examined the effects of testosterone on short-term growth in boys with short stature on hemodialysis (Kassmann et al. 1992). After an 8-week run-in, eight boys (mean 3.9 SD below mean height for age) on regular hemodialysis were randomised to start on one of two four-week treatment periods separated by a six-week wash-out period before crossing over to the other treatment. Treatment consisted of 2 g/m2/day of a transdermal gel corresponding to a topical daily dose of 50 mg/m2 testosterone or placebo. Although a significant increase in short-term growth velocity (using knemometry) was reported overall, gain of final height was not reported and cannot be predicted from growth velocity. Furthermore, the small sample size and unbalanced randomisation were limitations. Further larger and longer studies would be needed before even low-dose androgen therapy could be considered effective or safe.

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