Impaired cardiac performance in GH-deficient adults and its improvement after GH replacement

A. Cittadini, A. Cuocolo, B. Merola, S. Fazio, D. Sabatini, E. Nicolai, A. Colao, S. Longobardi, G. Lombardi, L. Sacca

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Cardiac performance was investigated by radionuclide angiography in 11 patients with childhood-onset growth hormone (GH) deficiency and in 12 control subjects. Both at rest and during maximal physical exercise, systolic function was markedly depressed in GH-deficient patients. Ejection fraction rose from 66 ± 6 to 76 ± 7% during exercise in control subjects, whereas in GH-deficient patients it remained unchanged or even decreased (55 ± 6 and 54 ± 9% at rest and after exercise, respectively; P <0.01 vs. controls). Cardiac index was significantly lower in GH-deficient patients than in controls, both at rest (2.7 ± 0.6 vs. 3.7 ± 0.5 l · min-1 · m-2; P <0.001) and during exercise (8 ± 1.2 vs. 10 ± 1.5 l · min-1 · m-2; P <0.01). Five GH-deficient patients were treated with recombinant human (rh) GH for 6 mo at a dose of 0.05 IU · kg-1 · day-1. Cardiac index at rest improved from 2.8 ± 0.6 to 3.3 ± 0.8 l · min-1 · m-2 (P <0.01) after rhGH. Also, cardiac index response to exercise improved markedly and became similar to that of controls (7.5 ± 1.2 and 10.1 ± 1.1 l · min-1 · m- 2 before and after rhGH, respectively; P <0.005). Exercise tolerance was impaired in GH-deficient patients and was restored by rhGH treatment. The data support the hypothesis that GH plays an important role in the maintenance of a normal cardiac performance in humans.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 30-2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • growth hormone
  • growth hormone deficiency
  • heart function
  • radionuclide angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology


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