Growth Hormone Therapy in GH-deficient Adults: Continuous vs. Alternate-days Treatment

C. Giavoli, V. Cappiello, S. Porretti, C. L. Ronchi, E. Orsi, P. Beck-Peccoz, M. Arosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present report, we have compared 12 months of rhGH therapy given daily (D) at the beginning and then on alternate days (A) to 20 subjects with severe adult-onset GH deficiency (GHD). Aim of the study was to establish whether the lower frequency injection regimen is as effective as the daily dose. Measurements included: IGF-I levels, body composition (BF%), lipid profile, insulin sensitivity by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) and quantitative insulin check index (QUICKI), as well as thyroid function. Evaluation on A therapy was performed both 12 and 36 hours after the last rhGH injection. The final rhGH dose was 0.3 ± 0.1 mg/day. During A, the dose used in D was doubled and given on alternate days. Recombinant hGH given during the A period induced changes in IGF-I levels, BF% and lipid profile comparable to daily treatment. HOMA-IR increased similarly after both regimens, though QUICKI did not significantly change. A significant reduction in serum FT4 levels occurred after both D and A therapy, so that an adjustment of L-T4 replacement dose in 5 of 20 patients was necessary. No differences were found in the various parameters after 12 and 36 hours post rhGH injection. In conclusion, rhGH therapy given on alternate days is clinically effective and may result in improved patient compliance. Monitoring glucose tolerance and thyroid function while on rhGH is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-561
Number of pages5
JournalHormone and Metabolic Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2003


  • GH Deficiency
  • GH Replacement
  • IGF-I
  • Insulin Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology


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