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Treatment of adult growth hormone deficiency with human recombinant growth hormone: an update on current evidence and critical review of advantages and pitfalls.

Endocrine 2018 May
Adult-onset growth-hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) is a rare disorder, which most commonly results from pituitary or peripituitary tumors and their treatment, and is characterized by alterations in body composition, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, bone mineral density, cardiovascular risk profile and quality of life, all of which may contribute to an increased morbidity and mortality. Since recombinant human GH (rhGH) became available in 1985, several studies have provided evidence of its beneficial effects, despite the potential risk of developing adverse effects, and much clinical experience has been accumulated. However, in adults, the precise therapeutic role of GH replacement therapy and the individual response to it remains highly variable and is still a matter of debate. In this article, we present a critical review of the available evidence on rhGH replacement therapy in GHD adults, emphasizing the pitfalls clinicians encounter in the diagnosis of GHD and monitoring of rhGH replacement therapy. We will cover all the relevant aspects regarding the potential usefulness of GH treatment, including the hot topic of mortality.

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