Exogenous glucocorticoids are commonly used in the treatment of various conditions including asthma, rhinitis, and a range of renal, gastrointestinal and malignant diseases in children. Glucocorticoid treatment has numerous systemic side effects beside the beneficial effects. An important and well described side effect is growth suppression. Knemometry, i.e. measurement of the lower leg length, is a well established method for assessment of short term growth. The present article reviews the role of knemometry in the assessment of growth suppressive effects of glucocorticoid treatment, and the present data on lower leg growth during glucocorticoid treatment are summarized. Our knowledge on the effects of exogenous glucocorticoids in the different components (bones, cartilage, cutis and subcutis, etc.) of the lower leg is reviewed, and integrated with recent studies assessing such effects by new methods.
Keywords: Knemometry, glucocorticoids, lower leg length, lower leg growth, growth suppression, soft tissue component
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