Evaluation of GH-IGF-I axis in adult patients with coeliac disease

E. Ferrante, C. Giavoli, L. Elli, A. Redaelli, E. Novati, A. De Bellis, C. L. Ronchi, S. Bergamaschi, A. Lania, M. T. Bardella, G. Bellastella, P. Beck-Peccoz

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The aim of this study was to evaluate GH/IGF-I axis and other pituitary functions in adult patients with coeliac disease. For this purpose, twenty-eight adult coeliac patients [20M, 8F:1974 years; body mass index (BMI): 18.528 kg/m2] were recruited. Basal thyroid, adrenal and gonadal function, serum IGF-I and PRL, and routine parameters were evaluated. Dynamic GH secretion was carried out by GHRH plus arginine test. In 20 patients, antipituitary antibodies (APA) were also evaluated. Seven out of 28 patients, independently from disease onset and the gluten-free diet (GFD), showed an impaired GH secretion (25%). All were males, 2 with severe growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and 5 with partial GHD. In patients with GHD, as compared to coeliac patients with normal GH secretion, HOMA (2.1±1.2 vs. 0.9±0.4) and QUICKI (0.35±0.03 vs. 0.39±0.02) levels were significantly higher and lower, respectively, while IGF-I levels were slightly lower (17.7±3.7 vs. 24.7±6.3, p=NS). APA were negative in all 20 patients studied. In conclusion, a significant number of adult coeliac patients show an impaired GH secretion, this alteration being predominant in males and independent from disease onset and diet regimen. Given the absence of APAs, the cause of this pituitary dysfunction remains unclear even if a previous autoimmune involvement in some cases cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-49
Number of pages5
JournalHormone and Metabolic Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Coeliac disease
  • GH deficiency
  • GH-IGF-I axis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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    Ferrante, E., Giavoli, C., Elli, L., Redaelli, A., Novati, E., De Bellis, A., Ronchi, C. L., Bergamaschi, S., Lania, A., Bardella, M. T., Bellastella, G., & Beck-Peccoz, P. (2010). Evaluation of GH-IGF-I axis in adult patients with coeliac disease. Hormone and Metabolic Research, 42(1), 45-49. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1241169