The spontaneous growth process in Turner's syndrome is characterized by a progressive decline in height velocity during childhood and no pubertal growth spurt. Therefore, therapy aimed at improving height during childhood as well as increasing final height is desirable for most girls with Turner's syndrome. Forty-five girls with Turner's syndrome, 9-16 yr of age (mean age, 12.2 yr), were allocated to three study groups. Group 1 (n = 13) was initially treated with oxandrolone alone; after 1 yr of treatment, GH without (group 1a; n = 6) or with (group 1b; n = 7) ethinyl estradiol was added. Group 2 (n = 17) was treated with GH plus oxandrolone. Group 3 (n = 15) was treated with GH, oxandrolone, and ethinyl estradiol. The dosage were: GH, 0.1 IU/kg.day; oxandrolone, 0.05 mg/kg.day; and ethinyl estradiol, 100 ng/kg.day. A height of 150 cm or more was achieved in 61%, 75%, and 60% of the girls in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The most impressive increase in height was seen in group 2. In this group the mean final height was 154.2 cm (SD = 6.6), which is equivalent to a mean net gain of 8.5 cm (SD = 4.6) over the projected final height. In group 3, in which ethinyl estradiol was included from the start of therapy, the initially good height velocity decelerated after 1-2 yr of treatment. Their mean final height was 151.1 (SD = 4.6) cm, equivalent to a mean net gain of 3.0 cm (SD = 3.8). A similar growth-decelerating effect of ethinyl estradiol was seen in group 1b. We conclude that in girls with Turner's syndrome who are older than 9 yr of age, treatment with GH in combination with oxandrolone results in significant growth acceleration, imitating that in normal puberty, leading to a more favorable height during childhood. This mode of treatment also results in a significantly increased final height, permitting a great number of the girls to attain a final height of more than 150 cm. However, early addition of estrogen decelerates the height velocity and reduces the gain in height.
1996. Vol. 81, no 2, 635-40 p.