Effects of protracted rhGH administration on body composition and intermediate metabolism in juvenile obesity

A. Ardizzi, G. Grugni, G. Guzzaloni, D. Moro, F. Morabito

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GH administration in obese subjects stimulate lipolysis and increase the fat oxidation. The aim of this study was that of confirming this hypothesis by evaluating, in a group of 13 (5 males and 8 females; mean age 15.87 ± 0.29 yr) adolescents with severe essential obesity, the effects of prolonged biosynthetic GH administration (rhGH) on body composition and weight loss as well as the possible effects on lipid, glucose and protein turnover. Eight subjects (group A) were treated for 2 months with rhGH, 8 IU/die sc, and a hypocaloric diet (1000 Kcal/die); 5 subjects (group B) followed only this diet for the same period of time. In all subjects were performed, in basal condition and at the end of the study, tests for the evaluation of: GH secretion (GH after L-dopa + propranolol; GH after clonidine; GH after GHRH); body composition with impedance study; carbohydrate metabolism (OGTT); lipoprotein metabolism. Results indicate that prolonged administration of rhGH accompanied by a low calorie diet was followed by a significant reduction in fat mass with respect to subjects only on a diet (-5.3% vs -2.8%). The protracted treatment with high dosage of rhGH in severe obesity does not appear to inhibit endogenous secretion, does not modify glucose tolerance and did not provide additional effects with respect to what was seen with diet alone. These findings demonstrate that the use of rhGH in the treatment of obesity gave positive results as concerns reduction of fat mass and because devoid of side effects on intermediate metabolism. Doubts remain considering the cost/benefit ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalActa Medica Auxologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • juvenile obesity
  • rhGH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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