Category Archives: Growth Hormone

GH Therapy for 2 Years Increases Bone Density in GH Deficiency


Effects of two years of growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy on bone metabolism and mineral density in childhood and adulthood onset GH deficient patients.

The aim of the current study was to evaluate bone metabolism and mass before and after 2 years of GH replacement therapy in adults with childhood or adulthood onset GH deficiency. Thirty-six adults with GH deficiency, 18 with childhood onset, 18 with adulthood onset GH deficiency and 28 sex-, age-, height- and weight-matched healthy subjects entered the study. Biochemical indexes of bone turnover such as serum osteocalcin, serum carboxyterminal telopeptide of type-I procollagen, urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine and deoxypyridinoline/creatinine, of soft tissue formation such as aminoterminal propeptide of type-III and bone mineral density were evaluated. Childhood onset GH deficient patients had significantly decreased bone (osteocalcin: 2.5+/-1.3 vs 6.6+/-4.8 mcg/l, p<0.001) and soft tissue formation (aminoterminal propeptide of type III: 273+/-49 vs 454+/-23 U/I, p<0.001) indexes and normal bone resorption indexes (serum carboxyterminal telopeptide of type-I procollagen: 105+/-48 vs 128+/-28 mcg/l p=NS; urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine: 0.19+/-0.16 vs 0.28+/-0.16 mmol/mol, p=NS; urinary deoxypyridinoline/creatinine: 21 +/-10 vs 25+/-8 mcmol/mol, p=NS) compared to healthy subjects. On the contrary, no significant difference in bone turnover indexes between adulthood onset GH deficient patients and healthy subjects was found. Moreover, significantly decreased bone mineral density at any skeletal site and at whole skeleton was found in GH deficient patients compared to healthy subjects (e.g. femoral neck: 0.74+/-0.13 vs 0.97+/-0.11 g/cm2, p<0.001). In addition, a significant reduction of bone mineral density was found in childhood compared to adulthood onset GH deficient patients at any skeletal site, except at femoral neck. After 3-6 months of treatment, both groups of patients had a significant increase in bone turnover and in soft tissue formation. In particular, in childhood onset GH deficient patients after 3 months osteocalcin increased from 2.5+/-1.3 to 7.9+/-2.1 mcg/l, p<0.001 aminoterminal propeptide of type-III from 273+/-49 to 359+/-15 U/I p<0.001; serum carboxyterminal telopeptide of type-I procollagen from 105+/-48 to 201+/-45 mcg/l, p<0.001; urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine from 0.19+/-0.16 to 0.81+/-0.17 mmol/mol, p<0.001; urinary deoxypyridinoline/creatinine from 21 +/-10 to 54+/-20 mcmol/mol, p<0.001; while in adulthood onset GH deficient patients after 6 months osteocalcin increased from 4.2+/-3.6 to 6.5+/-1.9 mcg/l, p<0.05; aminoterminal propeptide of type- III from 440+/-41 to 484+/-37 U/I, p<0.05; serum carboxyterminal telopeptide of type-I procollagen from 125+/-40 to 152+/-22 mcg/l, p<0.05; urinary hydroxyproline/creatinine from 0.24+/-0.12 to 0.54+/-0.06 mmol/mol, p<0.001; urinary deoxypyridinoline/creatinine from 23+/-8 to 42+/-5 mcmol/mol, p<0.001. No significant difference in bone turnover between pre- and post-treatment period was found after 18-24 months of GH therapy. Conversely, bone mineral density was slightly reduced after 3-6 months of GH therapy, while it was significantly increased after 18-24 months. In fact, femoral neck bone mineral density values significantly rose from 0.74+/-0.13 g/cm2 to 0.87+/-0.11 g/cm2 (pre-treatment vs 2 years of GH treatment values). In conclusion, patients with childhood or adulthood onset GH deficiency have osteopenia that can be improved by long-term treatment with GH.

Longobardi S, Di Rella F, Pivonello R, Di Somma C…
J. Endocrinol. Invest. May 1999
PMID: 10401706

GH Therapy Cuts Number With Osteopenia in Half in GH-Deficient Adults


Effects of 42 months of GH treatment on bone mineral density and bone turnover in GH-deficient adults.

To study the effects of GH treatment for up to 42 months on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover.
BMD with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, serum type I procollagen carboxy-terminal propeptide (PICP), serum type I collagen carboxy-terminal telopeptide (ICTP) and serum IGF-I were assessed in 71 adults with GH deficiency. There were 44 men and 27 women, aged 20 to 59 (median 43) years. Thirty-two patients completed 36 months and 20 patients 42 months of treatment.
The BMD increased for up to 30-36 months and plateaued thereafter. In the whole study group, the maximum increase of BMD was 5.0% in the lumbar spine (P<0. 001), 5.9% (P<0.01) in the femoral neck, 4.9% (NS, P>0.05) in the Ward’s triangle and 8.2% (P<0.001) in the trochanter area. The serum concentrations of PICP (202.6+/-11.5 vs 116.3+/-5.4 microg/l; mean+/-s.e.m.) and ICTP (10.5+/-0.6 vs 4.4+/-0.3 microg/l) doubled (P<0.001) during the first 6 months of GH treatment but returned to baseline by the end of the study (130.0+/-10.4 and 5.6+/-0.7 microg/l respectively), despite constantly elevated serum IGF-I levels (39. 6+/-4.1 nmol/l at 42 months vs 11.9+/-0.9 nmol/l at baseline; P<0.001). The responses to GH treatment of serum IGF-I, PICP, ICTP (P<0.001 for all; ANOVA) and of the BMD in the lumbar spine (P<0.05), in the femoral neck and the trochanter (P<0.001 for both) were more marked in men than in women. At the end of the study the BMD had increased at the four measurement sites by 5.7-10.6% (P<0.01-0.001) in patients with at least osteopenia at baseline and by 0.1-5.3% (NS P<0.05) in those with normal bone status (P<0.001 for differences between groups; ANOVA). Among patients who completed 36-42 months of treatment, the number of those with at least osteopenia was reduced to more than a half. The response of BMD to GH treatment was more marked in young than in old patients at three measurement sites (P<0. 05-<0.001; ANOVA). In the multiple regression analysis the gender and the pretreatment bone mass appeared to be independent predictors of three measurement sites, whereas the age independently determined only the vertebral BMD.
GH treatment in GH-deficient adults increased BMD for up to 30-36 months, with a plateau thereafter. Concurrently with the plateau in BMD the bone turnover rate normalized. From the skeletal point of view GH-deficient patients exhibiting osteopenia or osteoporosis should be considered as candidates for GH supplementation of at least 3-4 years.

Välimäki MJ, Salmela PI, Salmi J, Viikari J…
Eur. J. Endocrinol. Jun 1999
PMID: 10377504 | Free Full Text

From the full text:

Moreover, in more than a half of the patients the criteria of osteopenia disappeared or there was an improvement of the bone state from osteoporosis to osteopenia.

GH Therapy for 1 Year Increases Bone Turnover and Density in GH Deficiency


Effects of growth hormone (GH) replacement on bone metabolism and mineral density in adult onset of GH deficiency: results of a double-blind placebo-controlled study with open follow-up.

It is known that GH stimulates bone turnover and that GH-deficient adults have a lower bone mass than healthy controls. In order to evaluate the influences of GH replacement therapy on markers of bone turnover and on bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with adult onset GH deficiency, a double-blind placebo-controlled study of treatment with recombinant human GH (rhGH; mean dose 2.4 IU daily) in 20 patients for 6 months and an extended open study of 6 to 12 months were conducted. Eighteen patients, fourteen men and four women, with a mean age of 44 years with adult onset GH deficiency were evaluated in the study. Compared with placebo, after 6 months serum calcium (2.39 +/- 0.02 vs 2.32 +/- 0.02 mmol/l, P = 0.037) and phosphate (0.97 +/- 0.06 vs 0.75 +/- 0.05 mmol/l, P = 0.011) increased and the index of phosphate excretion (0.03 +/- 0.03 vs 0.19 +/- 0.02, P < 0.001) decreased significantly, and there was a significant increase in the markers of bone formation (osteocalcin, 64.8 +/- 11.8 vs 17.4 +/- 1.8 ng/ml, P < 0.001; procollagen type I carboxyterminal propeptide (PICP), 195.3 +/- 26.4 vs 124.0 +/- 15.5 ng/ml, P = 0.026) as well as those of bone resorption (type I collagen carboxyterminal telopeptide (ICTP), 8.9 +/- 1.2 vs 3.3 +/- 0.5 ng/ml, P < 0.001; urinary hydroxyproline, 0.035 +/- 0.006 vs 0.018 +/- 0.002 mg/100 ml glomerular filtration rate, P = 0.009). BMD did not change during this period of time. IGF-I was significantly higher in treated patients (306 +/- 45.3 vs 88.7 +/- 22.5 ng/ml, P < 0.001). An analysis of the data compiled from 18 patients treated with rhGH for 12 months revealed similar significant increases in serum calcium and phosphate, and the markers of bone turnover (osteocalcin, PICP, ICTP, urinary hydroxyproline). Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-measured BMD in the lumbar spine (1.194 +/- 0.058 vs 1.133 +/- 0.046 g/cm2, P = 0.015), femoral neck (1.009 +/- 0.051 vs 0.936 +/- 0.034 g/cm2, P = 0.004), Ward’s triangle (0.881 +/- 0.055 vs 0.816 +/- 0.04 g/cm2, P = 0.019) and the trochanteric region (0.869 +/- 0.046 vs 0.801 +/- 0.033 g/cm2, P = 0.005) increased significantly linearly (compared with the individual baseline values). At 12 months, BMD in patients with low bone mass (T-score < -1.0 S.D.) increased more than in those with normal bone mass (lumbar spine 11.5 vs 2.1%, P = 0.030, and femoral neck 9.7 vs 4.2%, P = 0.055). IGF-I increased significantly in all treated patients. In conclusion, treatment of GH-deficient adults with rhGH increases bone turnover for at least 12 months. BMD in the lumbar spine and the proximal femur increases continuously in this time (open study) and the benefit is greater in patients with low bone mass. Therefore, GH-deficient patients exhibiting osteopenia or osteoporosis should be considered candidates for GH supplementation. However, long-term studies are needed to establish that the positive effects on BMD are persistent and are associated with a reduction in fracture risk.

Finkenstedt G, Gasser RW, Höfle G, Watfah C…
Eur. J. Endocrinol. Mar 1997
PMID: 9100553

GH for 36 vs. 6-12 Months


Long-term change in the bone mineral density of adults with adult onset growth hormone (GH) deficiency in response to short or long-term GH replacement therapy.

Only two previous studies have assessed the effects of long-term GH replacement therapy on bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with adult onset GH deficiency. To date no study has looked at the long-term impact on BMD after a short course (6-12 months) of GH replacement. In two groups of patients with adult onset GH deficiency we have studied BMD either (a) after 3 years of continuous GH replacement or (b) 2 years after completion of a short course of GH.
An open GH therapeutic study in which patients were recruited from a previous double-blind placebo-controlled study. The BMD status of all patients was unknown to the physician and patient at the time of recruitment.
Group A (n = 7, three females) all received GH replacement continuously for 3 years. Group B (n = 8, five females) included six patients who received GH replacement for 6 months and two who received GH replacement for 12 months with BMD being measured at 6-monthly intervals.
Single photon absorptiometry (SPA) and later single X-ray absorptiometry (SXA) were used to measure forearm cortical BMD. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to measure lumbar spine, trochanteric, femoral neck and Ward’s area BMD.
In group A lumbar spine and trochanter BMD had increased significantly from baseline by 3.7% (DXA: median change = 0.045 g/cm2; P = 0.028) and 4.0% (DXA: median change = 0.031 g/cm2; P = 0.046), respectively. There were non-significant decreases in femoral neck (1.9%) (DXA: median change = -0.02 g/cm2; P = 0.39), Ward’s area (6.5%) (DXA: median change = -0.06 g/cm2; P = 0.09) and forearm (2.6%) (SPA/SXA: median change = -0.013 g/cm2; P = 0.18). In group B, compared with baseline, only trochanter BMD changed significantly, increasing by 5.9% (DXA: median change = 0.0485 g/cm2; P = 0.049). Lumbar spine (DXA: median change = -0.001 g/cm2) Ward’s area (DXA: median change = 0.0135 g/cm2), femoral neck (DXA: median change = -0.005 g/cm2) and forearm cortical (SPA/SXA; median change = -0.01 g/cm2) BMD did not change significantly (P = 0.67, P = 0.57, P = 0.86 and P = 0.31, respectively). Median percentage changes compared with baseline were -0.1%, 1.8%, -0.5% and -2.1%, respectively. From the time of completion of GH therapy however, BMD increased significantly at lumbar spine, (median change = 0.023 g/cm2), Ward’s area (median change = 0.03 g/cm2) and trochanter (median change = 0.056 g/cm2) (P = 0.036, P = 0.049 and P = 0.012, respectively) but not at the femoral neck (median change = 0.017 g/cm2; P = 0.31) or forearm (median change = 0 g/cm2; P = 0.75).
Long-term GH replacement therapy for three years appears to have beneficial effects on bone in patients with adult onset GH deficiency particularly at the lumbar spine and trochanter; the effects on femoral neck and forearm cortical BMD, however, are less impressive. A short course (6-12 months) of GH replacement therapy results in an increase in trochanter BMD several years later, and after an initial decline in BMD whilst on GH replacement, lumbar spine and Ward’s area BMD return towards their baseline values. These results emphasize that not all types of bone and skeletal sites respond to GH therapy identically. Furthermore a short course of GH replacement over 6-12 months may result in significant changes in BMD several years later.

Rahim A, Holmes SJ, Adams JE, Shalet SM
Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) Apr 1998
PMID: 9640413

GH Improves Bone in GH Deficiency – 4 Year Study


Effect of long-term treatment with GH on bone metabolism, bone mineral density and bone elasticity in GH-deficient adults.

Adults with GH deficiency (GHD) commonly have subnormal bone mineral density (BMD), and have been reported to have an increased risk of fractures. It has been suggested that GH replacement therapy may have beneficial effects on bone in such patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of long-term GH replacement therapy on bone metabolism, BMD and bone elasticity in adults with GHD.
At the start of the study, 20 adults with GHD were randomized to receive either GH, 0.25 IU/kg/week (the ‘GH group’) or placebo (the ‘placebo group’). After 6 months, patients in the placebo group were switched to GH therapy, and all patients received GH for a further 42 months.
Of the 20 patients included in the study, 11 were male and nine were female. Mean age at the start of the study was 42.5 +/- 10.1 years. All patients had been GH-deficient for at least 2 years before the start of the study.
Rates of bone resorption and formation were assessed by measuring serum levels of type I collagen carboxyterminal cross-linked telopeptide (ICTP) and carboxyterminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PICP), respectively. BMD was measured at the lumbar spine by dual-photon absorptiometry (DPA) and at the non-dominant forearm by single-photon absorptiometry (SPA). Bone elasticity was assessed by measuring apparent phalangeal ultrasound transmission velocity (APU).
The main results in the GH group were as follows. The rate of bone resorption increased significantly during the first 6 months of treatment and remained significantly elevated above its baseline level thereafter. The rate of bone formation also rose during the first 6 months of treatment and remained elevated thereafter, but was significantly higher than at baseline only after 24 months of treatment. At both sites measured, BMD was subnormal at baseline, decreased during the first 6 months of treatment, and increased progressively for the rest of the study, eventually rising well above its baseline level. Bone elasticity decreased during the first 6 months of treatment, but had returned to its baseline level after 24 months.
Our results support previous findings that BMD is subnormal in adults with GHD, that GH replacement therapy can stimulate bone turnover in such adults and that, in the long term, such stimulation results in a significant increase in BMD. In addition they show, for the first time, that BMD may continue to rise even after GH replacement therapy has been administered for 4 years, and indicate that bone elasticity is not adversely affected by long-term GH therapy.

Kann P, Piepkorn B, Schehler B, Andreas J…
Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) May 1998
PMID: 9666867

GH + Exercise No Benefit Over Exercise Alone


Effect of resistance exercise and growth hormone on bone density in older men.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether 16 weeks of heavy resistance exercise training combined with daily growth hormone administration (GH) increases bone mineral density in 64-75-year-old men greater than resistance exercise training without GH supplementation.
Eighteen healthy, elderly men (67 +/- 1 year) followed a 16-week progressive resistance training programme (75-90% maximum strength, 5-10 repetitions/set, 4 sets/day, 4 days/week) after double-blind, random assignment to either a GH (12.5 or 18 micrograms/kg/day, equivalent to 25 or 36 mU/kg/day, n = 7) or placebo (n = 11) group.
Before and at the end of 16 weeks of resistance exercise with or without GH administration, body composition, whole body and regional bone mineral density (BMD) were determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Serum osteocalcin and IGF-I were determined by radioimmunoassay before, during and at the end of treatment.
Increments in fat-free mass and training-specific maximum voluntary muscle strength were similar in both groups after training. Serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and osteocalcin levels were increased (P < 0.05) after exercise training plus GH. In comparison to initial measures, bone mineral density (g/cm2) of the proximal femur (Ward’s triangle) was increased (P < 0.05) after 16 weeks of exercise training plus placebo treatment. Sixteen weeks of exercise training plus GH treatment did not increase whole body, spine or hip (femoral neck, trochanter, Ward’s triangle) bone mineral density more than exercise plus placebo treatment.
These findings suggest that in these older men with normal bone mineral density, short-term resistance exercise training increased regional bone mineral density, but the addition of daily GH administration did not enhance whole body or regional bone mineral density despite GH-induced increments in serum IGF-I and osteocalcin. This implies that GH administration during a 16-week resistance exercise training programme may increase bone turnover without increasing bone mineral accumulation.

Yarasheski KE, Campbell JA, Kohrt WM
Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf) Aug 1997
PMID: 9302398