Growth failure is one of the most common late complications in children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). The present report describes a qualitative method of evaluating height growth after SCT, using a growth chart. The patients were divided into three groups according to the shape of their growth chart: the normal growth chart group, the early-onset growth retardation group (E-group), in which a decreased growth rate was seen during the first year after SCT, and the late-onset growth retardation group (L-group), in which a decreased growth rate was seen more than 1 yr after the SCT. In the E-group, total body irradiation and prolonged steroid therapy were thought to contribute to the growth failure, whereas in the L-group, impaired pubertal development was thought to be responsible. The growth pattern in the L-group may, therefore, be of particular clinical importance, because the final stature of the subjects in this group can be improved by pharmacological adjustment of pubertal onset. Although limited by the small size and heterogeneous nature of the sample, our results suggest that growth-chart-based evaluation may provide important information to stratify subjects showing inadequate growth after SCT into two groups whose follow-up and treatment should be individualized.
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