• adulthood;
  • cardiac structure;
  • growth

Abstract. Sartorio A, Perrero S, Conti A, Bragato R, Malfatto G, Leonetti G, Faglia G. (Laboratorio Sperimentale di Ricerche Endocrinologiche, Istituto AuxoIogico Italiano, Milano, Italy). Adults with childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency: effects of growth hormone treatment on cardiac structure.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and of growth hormone (GH) therapy on cardiac structure in adults with child-hood-onset GHD.

Settiig: Out-patient clinic in the Italian Institute for Auxology, Milan.

Subjects: Eight adults with childhood-onset GHD and eight healthy controls, matched for sex, age, exercise and body mass index.

Interventions: Recombinant GH (Saizen Serono, Italy), administered in a conventional dose of 0.5 IU kg-1 week-1 for 6 months.

Main outcome measures: Cardiac structure parameters, evaluated by two-dimensional, M-mode and Doppler echocardiograms, and stress test, by means of a modified Bruce protocol with a bicycle ergometer, were determined before and after 6 months GH therapy.

Results: Before treatment, mean (±SE) intraventricular septal thickness (IVST: 7.1 ± 0.2 mm), LV posterior wall thickness (LVPT: 5.2± 0.1 mm), LV mass(LVM: 94.6 ± 5.0 g), LV massindex (LVM/body surface area, LVMI: 65.1 ± 3.0 g m-2) and left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVED 41.4 ± 0.6 mm) of patients were significantly lower (P< < 0.01) than in controls, whilst LV end-systolic diameter (LVES) of patients (25.5 ± 0.7 mm) was similar to controls (27.5 ± 0.7). GH treatment significantly (P < 0.01) increased LWT (6.8 ± 0.2 mm), LVM (111.6 ± 4.6 g) and LVMI (80.5 ± 3.5 gm-2): no sigdcant changes were observed in LVED, LVES and IVST values. The stress test showed a significant improvement of cardiac performance, as demonstrated by the reduction of blood pressure x heart rate product at the same workload (basal: 32722.5 ± 897.4 vs. after: 25574.6 ± 439.7).

Conclusions: GH plays a role in the maintenance of a normal cardiac structure in adulthood. The present study suggests that GH treatment might be able to improve the cardiac structure of patients with childhood-onset GHD.