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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology 1/2014

Effects of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) administration on body composition and cardiovascular risk factors in obese adolescent girls

International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology > Ausgabe 1/2014
Meghan Slattery, Miriam A Bredella, Takara Stanley, Martin Torriani, Madhusmita Misra
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1687-9856-2014-22) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors state that no competing financial interests exist. This study was funded by an investigator initiated grant (L4716N) from Genentech, San Francisco, CA (with no influence on data collection/analysis). Dr. Misra received support from NIH grants UL1 RR025758 and K24 HD071843-01A1.

Authors’ contributions

MM conceived the study; MB, MS and MM carried out study related procedures and performed data collection; MS, MB, MT, TS, and MM analyzed and interpreted data; MS performed the literature search; MS, MB, TS, and MM wrote the manuscript and generated figures; MM had primary responsibility for final content. All authors were involved in manuscript preparation and approved the submitted version.



Obesity is associated with a relative deficiency of growth hormone, which is predictive of greater visceral fat and markers of cardiovascular risk. The study’s purpose was to use recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) as a physiologic probe to assess the effects of reversing obesity-related GH deficiency on body composition, cardiovascular risk markers, and insulin resistance.


22 obese girls 13–21 years old were followed for a randomized 6-month trial of rhGH vs. placebo/no treatment. At baseline and 6-months, DXA was performed for body composition, MRI to measure visceral, subcutaneous and total adipose tissue (VAT, SAT and TAT), and fasting blood drawn for IGF-1, inflammatory cardiovascular risk markers [soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM), high sensitivity CRP], lipids and HbA1C. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed. Twelve girls completed the 6-month visit. Baseline and mean 6-month change were compared between the groups using the Student t-test and the relationship between variables was determined through multiple regression analysis.


After 6-months, the rhGH group maintained IGF-1 levels, and had decreases in total cholesterol (p = 0.03), sICAM-1 (p = 0.04) and HbA1C (p = 0.03) compared to placebo/no treatment. The rhGH group trended towards greater decreases in LDL and 2-hour OGTT glucose. Glucose tolerance did not worsen with rhGH administration.


Administering rhGH in small doses is able to stabilize IGF-1 levels in obesity. We have also shown that rhGH administration leads to an improvement in some markers of cardiovacular risk with without adversely affecting glucose tolerance.

Trial registration

Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT01169103.
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