Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


David C. Leach


Treatment with human growth hormone (GH) at Henry Ford Hospital began in 1964 and has included 145 patients. A total of 68 patients were treated with extracted hormone and 77 with recombinant GH. The appearance of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, now five cases worldwide, in patients treated with extracted hormone abruptly stopped its use in the United States. The development of recombinant GH in 1985 has resulted in greater availability of treatment. Diagnostic criteria are now more liberal and certain patients without GH deficiency, i.e., those with the Turner syndrome, are now being successfully treated with GH. GH is expensive and its inappropriate use would have a major impact on health care costs. Indications for its use are not yet fully elucidated.