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Growth hormone therapy in patients with cirrhosis: a pilot study of efficacy and safety. *

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The protein catabolic state of cirrhosis is associated with severe growth hormone (GH) resistance, with low levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and its major binding protein (IGFBP)-3. The aim of this study was to conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of GH therapy in 20 cirrhotic patients to assess the reversibility of GH resistance and subsequent impact on protein economy and safety.

METHODS: Patients were treated with GH (0.25 IU/kg body wt) or placebo for 7 days. Serum levels of GH, IGF-I, IGFBP-3, and insulin were measured by radioimmunoassay and 24-hour urinary nitrogen by the Kjeldahl technique.

RESULTS: IGF-I levels increased only in the GH-treated group (mean, 69.2 +/- SE 7.0 to 170.6 +/- 48.8 ng/mL; P < 0.05) together with IGFBP-3 (1.65 +/- 0.3 to 2.94 +/- 0.6 mg/L; P < 0.005). Cumulative nitrogen balance similarly improved only in the GH group (2.87-24.16 g; P < 0.05). No significant side effects of GH were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: GH therapy can overcome the GH resistance of cirrhosis. The resulting improvement in nitrogen economy and possible influences on clinical outcomes will need to be confirmed in controlled studies of longer duration.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 09-06-2006