The cardiovascular risk of adult GH deficiency (GHD) improved after GH replacement and worsened in untreated GHD: A 12-month prospective study

Annamaria Colao, Carolina Di Somma, Rosario Pivonello, Alberto Cuocolo, Letizia Spinelli, Domenico Bonaduce, Marco Salvatore, Gaetano Lombardi

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Increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality were reported in GH deficiency (GHD), and GH replacement can ameliorate cardiac abnormalities of adult GIlD patients. To test the potential progression of untreated GIlD on the cardiovascular risk and cardiac function, cardiovascular risk factors, cardiac size, and performance were prospectively evaluated in 15 GHD patients (age, 18-56 yr) who were treated with recombinant GH at the dose of 0.15-1.0 mg/d, 15 GHD patients (age, 18-56 yr) who refused GH replacement, and 30 healthy subjects (age, 18-53 yr). Electrocardiogram, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate measurement, serum IGF-I, total cholesterol, low- and high-density lipoprotein (LDL, HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, and fibrinogen level assay, echocardiography, and equilibrium radionuclide angiography were performed basally and after 12 months. At study entry, low IGF-I levels, unfavorable lipid profile, and inadequate cardiac and physical performance were found in GHD patients compared with controls. After 12 months of GH treatment, IGF-I levels normalized; HDL-cholesterol levels, left ventricular (LV) mass index (LVMi), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at peak exercise, peak filling rate, exercise duration and capacity significantly increased; total-and LDL-cholesterol levels significantly decreased. After 12 months in GH-untreated GHD patients, IGF-I levels remained stable, and HDL-cholesterol levels, LVEF both at rest and at peak exercise, and exercise capacity were further reduced; total- and LDL-cholesterol levels increased slightly. LVEF at rest and its response at peak exercise normalized in 60 and 53.3%, respectively, of GH-treated patients and in none of the GH-untreated patients. In conclusion, 12 months of GH replacement normalized IGF-I and improved lipid profile and cardiac performance in adult GHD patients. A similar period of GH deprivation induced a further impairment of lipid profile and cardiac performance. This finding strongly supports the need of GH replacement in adult GHD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1093
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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