Background/purpose Few studies have evaluated craniofacial growth in boys and girls with idiopathic short stature (ISS) during growth hormone (GH) treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of GH treatment on craniofacial growth in children with ISS, compared with those with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Methods This study included 36 children (mean age, 11.3 ± 1.8 years) who were treated with GH consecutively. Lateral cephalograms were analyzed before and 2 years after start of GH treatment. Results There were no significant differences in age and sex between ISS and GHD groups and the reference group from semilongitudinal study (10 boys and 8 girls from each group). Before treatment, girls with ISS showed a skeletal Class II facial profile compared with the GHD and reference groups (p = 0.003). During GH treatment, the amount of maxillary length increased beyond norm in the ISS and GHD groups in boys (p = 0.035) > 3 standard deviation score (SDS). Meanwhile, mandibular ramus height (p = 0.001), corpus length, and total mandibular length (p = 0.007 for both) increased more in girls with ISS than in girls with GHD. Lower and total anterior facial heights increased more in girls with ISS than in girls with GHD (p = 0.021 and p = 0.007, respectively), > 7–11 SDS. Conclusion GH should be administered carefully when treating girls with ISS, because GH treatment has great effects on vertical overgrowth of the mandible and can result in longer face.
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