Effects of 12-month GH treatment on bone metabolism and bone mineral density in adults with adult-onset GH deficiency

Alessandro Sartorio, S. Ortolani, E. Galbiati, G. Conte, V. Vangeli, M. Arosio, S. Porretti, G. Faglia

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Serum bone-GIa protein (BGP), bone alkaline phosphatase (B-AP), and C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) levels were evaluated in 18 adults with acquired GH deficiency (GHD, 14 males and 4 females, age range: 25-59 yr) before, at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of rec-GH treatment (0.125 IU/kg/week for the first month, followed by 0.25 IU/kg/week for 11 months) and 6 months after the withdrawal of therapy. Total body bone mineral density (BMD, g/cm2) was measured with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (Hologic QDR 1000/W) before, at 12 months of GH treatment and 6 months after its withdrawal. Before treatment, BGP (mean±SE: 5.1±0.4 ng/ml), B-AP (59.4±6.5 IU/I), ICTP (3.1±0.3 ng/ml) levels of patients were similar to in healthy controls (BGP: 5.4±0.1 ng/ml; B-AP: 58.2±2.0 IU/I; ICTP: 4.1±0.3 ng/ml). GH treatment caused a significant increase of BGP, B-AP, ICTP levels, the maximal stimulation of bone resorption, occurring after 3 months of GH treatment, while the maximal effect on bone formation being evident later (at 6th month). A slight decline in BGP, B-AP, T-AP and ICTP levels occurred at 9-12 months of therapy, although the values remained significantly higher than in basal conditions and with respect to healthy controls. Before treatment, mean total body BMD of patients (1.110±0.027 g/cm2, range: 0.944-1.350 g/cm2) was not significantly different (z-score: +0.47±0.31, NS) from that observed in healthy controls (1.065±0.008 g/cm2, range: 1.008-1.121 g/cm2). GH therapy was associated with a significant reduction of mean total body BMD values (6th month: -1.8±0.5%, p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Adulthood
  • Bone
  • GH
  • GH deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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