Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Effects of 18 months of GH replacement on cardiovascular risk factors and quality of life in GH deficient adults; a randomized controlled trial using a fixed very low and a standard dose of GH.

OBJECTIVE: Little is known of the effects of a fixed very low dose of growth hormone (GH) replacement on cardiovascular risk factors, bone mass, muscle strength and quality of life (QoL) in hypopituitary patients.

DESIGN/PATIENTS/METHODS: This was an open-label randomized study performed at a single center. Consecutive hypopituitary patients with adult onset GH deficiency (GHD) and BMI ≥ 27 kg/m<sup>2</sup> were randomized to receive a very low fixed dose of GH (LG, n = 9) or a standard dose of GH (SG, n = 9). Body composition, glucose and lipid metabolism, bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD), muscle strength, and QoL were measured at baseline and after 6, 12 and 18 months.

RESULTS: The fixed GH dose in LG was 0.1 mg/day. In SG, the mean baseline GH dose of 0.13 mg/day was gradually increased to 0.31 mg/day at study end. Lean body mass (LBM) as measured using DEXA as well as total body water (TBW) and extracellular water (ECW) were increased only in SG (P &lt; 0.01, P &lt; 0.05, and P &lt; 0.01 vs. LG, respectively). There were no between-groups differences in BMD, BMC, insulin sensitivity, lipids, or muscle strength. Finally, although not significant compared with SG, a sustained improvement in QoL was seen in LG according to the QoL-AGHDA questionnaire.

CONCLUSION: In this pilot study, a fixed very low GH dose improved QoL in GHD adults without any induction of fluid retention. Other effects were comparable to those produced by the standard GH dose. Replacement with a very low GH dose could therefore be a treatment option in hypopituitary patients, especially in patients who do not tolerate higher GH dosage. Trial registration This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, EU-nr 2009-016783-37.

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