The physiologic and psychological responses to androgen treatment of constitutional delay of growth and development were prospectively evaluated in 16 male adolescents, aged 14 to 17 years. Subjects were randomly assigned to a course of testosterone enanthate, 200 mg administered intramuscularly four times at three-week intervals or to observation. At one-year follow-up all subjects in the testosterone group exhibited excellent growth: 7.2 to 11.6 cm/yr (mean 9.2 cm/yr). Growth in control subjects was highly variable: 2.6 to 10.6 cm/yr (mean 6.0 cm/yr), significantly lower than that of the testosterone group (P < .02). The mean annual increment in bone age was 1.1 years for both groups. The Δ height age/Δ bone age ratio was slightly higher in the testosterone group (1.3 vs 1.1), and the treated subjects had a 1.7-cm increase in predicted adult height. Both groups showed improved self-image, and treated subjects also exhibited dramatic increases in both school-related and extraschool social activity. A brief course of testosterone enanthate appears to be an effective, safe means of promoting growth in select male adolescents.
- Received March 23, 1981.
- Accepted July 21, 1981.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics