Johnston DG, Al-Shoumer KA, Chrisoulidou A, Kousta E, Beshyah S, Robinson S.
Section of Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK.
J Endocrinol Invest. 1999;22(5 Suppl):37-40.
Experience with growth hormone (GH) therapy in adult hypopituitarism has been gained for more than 10 years. Most of the data on GH therapy derive from studies with a duration of 2 years or less, but longer term information is required if patients are to be treated with GH replacement therapy for many years. We have studied patients after 4 years of treatment. At the end of this time, body mass index was unchanged but short-term benefits in body composition (decreased percentage body fat and increased fat-free mass) which had been evident at 2 years were still apparent. Fasting plasma glucose and the plasma glucose area under the curve during an oral glucose tolerance test were similar before and after 4 years of therapy, although fasting insulin levels were increased in comparison with baseline. Total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were lower at 4 years than at the outset but high density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels were unchanged. The available evidence therefore suggests that concerns regarding glucose intolerance in patients receiving long-term GH therapy have not been substantiated. The beneficial effects on body composition, and on total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, persisted over the 4 years of study.
Keywords: Long-term effects of growth hormone therapy on intermediary metabolism and insulin sensitivity in hypopituitary adults.