Growth Hormone Improves Cardiopulmonary Capacity and Body Composition in Children With Growth Hormone Deficiency

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Abstract

Context:

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children may be associated with early cardiovascular risk factors and alterations in left ventricular (LV) structure and function; data on cardiopulmonary functional capacity are lacking.

Objectives:

Aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of GHD and growth hormone (GH) therapy on cardiopulmonary functional capacity, left and right cardiac structure and function, and body composition in children and adolescents.

Design:

Prospective, case-control study.

Patients and Methods:

Twenty-one untrained GHD children (11.3 ± 0.8 years) underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing, echocardiography and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, before and after 12 months of GH therapy. Twenty-one controls matched for sex, pubertal status, body mass index, and physical activity (PA) were evaluated at baseline and after 1 year.

Results:

At baseline, GHD patients showed reduced LV mass (LVM; 63.32 ± 7.80 vs 80.44 ± 26.29 g/m2, P = 0.006), peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak; 22.92 ± 4.80 vs 27.48 ± 6.71 mL/Kg/min, P = 0.02), peak workload (80.62 ± 29.32 vs 103.76 ± 36.20 W, P = 0.02), and O2 pulse (4.93 ± 1.30 vs 7.67 ± 2.93 mL/beat, P = 0.0003), compared with controls. GHD patients also exhibited lower lean body mass (LBM 65.36 ± 7.84% vs 76.13 ± 8.23%, P < 0.001), and higher fat mass (FM 30.84 ± 7.92% vs 22.19 ± 8.18%, P = 0.001) than controls. GH therapy resulted in a significant increase of LVM (72.01 ± 15.88, P = 0.03), VO2peak (26.80 ± 4.97; P = 0.01), peak workload (103.67 ± 32.24, P = 0.001), O2 pulse (6.64 ± 1.68, P = 0.0007), and LBM (75.36 ± 7.59%, P = 0.0001), with a reduction in FM (22.62 ± 7.73%, P = 0.001). No difference was found in either left or right ventricular function.

Conclusion:

Our results suggest that cardiac structure, body composition and cardiopulmonary functional capacity are impaired in children with untreated GHD and can be restored after short-term GH replacement therapy.

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