Metabolic effects of growth hormone (GH) replacement in children and adolescents with severe isolated GH deficiency due to a GHRH receptor mutation

Helena Gleeson, Elenilde S.De A. Barreto, Roberto Salvatori, Liana Costa, Carla R.P. Oliveira, Rossana M.C. Pereira, Peter Clayton, Manuel H. Aguiar-Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: The interpretation of the true effect of GH replacement therapy (GHRT) on metabolic status in GH deficiency (GHD) is often complicated by differing aetiologies of GHD and by the presence of additional hormone deficits. Objective: To study the growth and response of the lipid profile and body composition to GHRT in a cohort of children with the same mutation in the GHRH receptor gene. Design: Nine GH-deficient subjects (mean age 12.8 years, range 5-17.5 years; three male) in a rural community in Northeast Brazil were treated with GHRT for 2 years and compared with indigenous normal controls. Main Outcome Measures: Total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglycerides (TG) and body composition were measured at baseline and after 3, 12 and 24 months of GHRT. Results: At baseline, the subjects with GHD had an adverse lipid profile, including elevated TC, elevated LDL-C and elevated TG. GHRT normalized TG in 3 months, LDL-C in 12 months and TC in 24 months. At baseline, older pubertal subjects with GHD had adverse body composition, including higher percentage fat mass (%FM), and GHRT induced a reduction in %FM that was maintained after 24 months. By contrast, younger prepubertal subjects did not have an adverse body composition. Conclusions: Lipid profile was abnormal at baseline, while abnormal body composition was only seen in older subjects in late puberty, indicating that body composition is less sensitive to the effect of GHD than lipid profile. GHRT improves lipid profile at all ages, while it affects body composition only towards the end of growth, emphasizing its importance in achieving normal somatic development in the transition period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-474
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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