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01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

Primary growth hormone insensitivity (Laron syndrome) and acquired hypothyroidism: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Oana R Cotta, Libero Santarpia, Lorenzo Curtò, Gianluca Aimaretti, Ginevra Corneli, Francesco Trimarchi, Salvatore Cannavò
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-301) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

All authors contributed to the management of the patient. In addition, ORC collected data regarding the patient and wrote the manuscript. LS and LC reviewed the literature concerning the case. FT was a major contributor to the writing of the manuscript. SC analyzed the data and supervised the editing of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Primary growth hormone resistance or growth hormone insensitivity syndrome, also known as Laron syndrome, is a hereditary disease caused by deletions or different types of mutations in the growth hormone receptor gene or by post-receptor defects. This disorder is characterized by a clinical appearance of severe growth hormone deficiency with high levels of circulating growth hormone in contrast to low serum insulin-like growth factor 1 values.

Case presentation

We report the case of a 15-year-old Caucasian girl who was diagnosed with Silver-Russell syndrome at the age of four and a half years. Recombinant growth hormone was administered for 18 months without an appropriate increase in growth velocity. At the age of seven years, her serum growth hormone levels were high, and an insulin-like growth factor 1 generation test did not increase insulin-like growth factor 1 levels (baseline insulin-like growth factor 1 levels, 52 μg/L; reference range, 75 μg/L to 365 μg/L; and peak, 76 μg/L and 50 μg/L after 12 and 84 hours, respectively, from baseline). The genetic analysis showed that the patient was homozygous for the R217X mutation in the growth hormone receptor gene, which is characteristic of Laron syndrome. On the basis of these results, the diagnosis of primary growth hormone insensitivity syndrome was made, and recombinant insulin-like growth factor 1 therapy was initiated. The patient's treatment was well tolerated, but unexplained central hypothyroidism occurred at the age of 12.9 years. At the age of 15 years, when the patient's sexual development was almost completed and her menstrual cycle occurred irregularly, her height was 129.8 cm, which is 4.71 standard deviations below the median for normal girls her age.


The most important functional tests for the diagnosis of growth hormone insensitivity are the insulin-like growth factor 1 generation test and genetic analysis. Currently, the only effective treatment is daily administration of recombinant insulin-like growth factor 1 starting from early childhood. However, these patients show a dramatically impaired final height. In our case, unexplained central hypothyroidism occurred during treatment.

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