Effects of up to 15 years of recombinant human GH (rhGH) replacement on bone metabolism in adults with growth hormone deficiency (GHD): the Leiden Cohort Study

Natasha M Appelman-Dijkstra, Kim M J A Claessen, Neveen A T Hamdy, Alberto M Pereira, Nienke R Biermasz
Clinical Endocrinology 2014, 81 (5): 727-35

BACKGROUND: Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adulthood may be associated with a decreased bone mineral density (BMD), a decreased bone mineral content (BMC) and an increased fracture risk. Recombinant human GH (rhGH) replacement induces a progressive increase in BMD for up to 5-7 years of treatment. Data on longer follow-up are, however, scarce.

METHODS: Two hundred and thirty-adult GHD patients (mean age 47·1 years, 52·6% female), of whom 88% patients had adult-onset (AO) GHD, receiving rhGH replacement for ≥5 years were included in the study. Most patients had multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies. Bone turnover markers, BMC and BMD and T-scores at the lumbar spine and femoral neck were evaluated at baseline, and after 5, 10 and 15 years of rhGH replacement. In addition, clinical fracture incidence was assessed.

RESULTS: Mean lumbar spine BMD, lumbar spine BMC and T-scores gradually increased during the first 10 years of rhGH replacement and remained stable thereafter. Largest effects of rhGH supplementation were found in men. In the small subset of patients using bisphosphonates, use of bisphosphonates did not impact additional beneficial effects in the long term. Low baseline BMD positively affected the change in BMD and BMC over time, but there was a negative effect of high GH dose at 1 year on the change in BMD and BMC over time. Clinical fracture incidence during long-term rhGH replacement was 20.1/1000 py.

CONCLUSIONS: Fifteen years of rhGH replacement in GHD adults resulted in a sustained increase in BMD values at the lumbar spine, particularly in men, and stabilization of BMD values at the femoral neck. Clinical fracture incidence was suggested not to be increased during long-term rhGH replacement.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.