Short children born small for gestational age (SGA) may be candidates for treatment with growth hormone (GH). We examined craniofacial growth and dental maturation in a cohort of short SGA children. The general growth failure of these children is reflected to a differential extent within the craniofacial complex. As a group, these children have a small retrognathic face with a relatively increased lower anterior face height; in contrast to skeletal maturation, dental age is not delayed. GH treatment in short prepubertal SGA children leads to craniofacial catch-up growth, which is particularly pronounced in regions where interstitial cartilage is involved, the result being that the facial profile becomes less convex; dental maturation does not appear to be influenced by GH treatment. In conclusion, in short SGA children, GH treatment does not only result in an increase of body stature but also in a trend towards normalization of craniofacial growth and this without notable advancement of dental maturation.

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