To determine whether children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) have lower mean serum bicarbonate concentrations than do children with short stature due to other causes.
Materials and Methods: We evaluated one hundred short stature children, aged 5 to 15 years, attending the children's endocrine clinic at Motahari clinic, Shiraz, Iran, over a 6 month period. Demographic data and clinical features were recorded, laboratory investigations were performed, and bone ages were calculated. GHD was defined as serum GH concentration )10 ng/ml in response to L-dopa and clonidine, in addition a thorough work-up was performed to exclude any other known clinical conditions that might lead to growth retardation.
Results: Thirty one patients (31%) had GHD, 69 (69%) were not GH deficient, and one case had panhypopituitarism. Serum bicarbonate concentrations were significantly lower in GHD compared with non-GHD patients (15.68±2.79 versus 17.98±3.79 mEq/l, P=0.003). On the other hand, 52 (75%) GHD subjects and 22 (71%) non-GHD had arterial blood pH values below 7.35, the difference not being statistically significant. All GHD patients had abnormal serum bicarbonate levels versus 87% of non-GHD cases (P<0.05). GHD and non-GHD groups were comparable regarding mean age, sex, height SDS, BMI, severity of bone age delay, fasting blood sugar, serum cortisol level, and thyroid function test results.
Conclusion: The lower plasma bicarbonate concentrations in patients with GHD as compared to with idopathatic short stature patients demonstrate a possible role for growth hormone in the modulation of acid-base homeostasis.
Full text is available in PDF