Growth hormone therapy in Turner Syndrome (TS): A focused review on glucose metabolism outcomes

Ashraf Soliman 1, *, Fawzia Alyafei 1, Nada Alaaraj 1, Noor Hamed 1, Shayma Ahmed 1 and Ahmed Adel Khalil 2

1 Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
2 Department of Pharmacy, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
Review Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 1738–1746
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1919
Publication history: 
Received on 16 May 2024; revised on 24 June 2024; accepted on 27 June 2024
Introduction: Turner Syndrome (TS) patients inherently possess a higher risk of developing glycemic abnormalities due to their unique genetic makeup, and the administration of growth hormone (GH) therapy, while beneficial for growth, might exacerbate this tendency towards disturbed glucose metabolism.
Objective of the Review: To evaluate the existing literature on the effects of GH therapy on glucose metabolism in TS patients, highlighting the balance between therapeutic benefits and potential metabolic risks.
Methods: This review scrutinizes studies published from 2000 to 2024, focusing on the outcomes related to glucose metabolism in TS individuals undergoing GH therapy, encompassing aspects like insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and metabolic health.
Results: Insulin Sensitivity and Resistance: Initial findings suggest that GH therapy may exacerbate insulin resistance and elevate insulin levels, although these effects appear transient and potentially reversible after the cessation of therapy.
Long-term Metabolic Outcomes: Later studies indicate that long-term GH therapy may lead to an improvement in insulin sensitivity and a normalization of carbohydrate metabolism, particularly after the therapy is discontinued.
Variable Impacts on Glucose Tolerance: The reviewed literature shows mixed effects on glucose tolerance, with some studies reporting no significant changes, while others highlight a potential risk for worsening glucose metabolism.
Body Composition and Metabolic Profile: Positive changes in body composition and lipid profiles were noted, which could confer metabolic benefits, yet the therapy's role in increasing insulin levels warrants careful consideration.
Individual Variability and Monitoring Needs: The diverse responses to GH therapy underscore the necessity for individualized treatment plans and diligent metabolic monitoring to mitigate potential risks and optimize therapeutic outcomes.
Conclusion: The administration of GH therapy in TS requires a delicate balance, considering its potential to both benefit and pose risks to glucose metabolism. Tailored monitoring and a comprehensive understanding of the individual patient’s metabolic response are essential for maximizing the therapy's efficacy while minimizing associated metabolic complications.
Turner Syndrome; Growth hormone therapy; Glucose metabolism; Insulin sensitivity; Metabolic risk; Individualized monitoring
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