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Minerva Endocrinologica 2003 March;28(1):1-2


language: Italian

Growth hormone secretion in heart failure

Giustina A., Bonadonna S., Burattin A., Manelli F., Lorusso R., Volterrani M., Villa S., Dei Cas L., Agabiti Rosei E.


Growth hormone is a pituitary polypeptide hormone regulating growth in paediatric age as well as inducing anabolic actions directly or IGF-I mediated in adult age. Particularly, in many animals GH and IGF-I receptors were observed in cardiac miocytes membrane. GH modifies left ventricle structure and function. As concerns spontaneous GH secretion, some data suggest that pituitary gland can have a compensatory role on endocrine response to heart failure. Heart failure stage was directly correlated to nocturnal GH levels. All GH spontaneous night secretion parameters as well as IGF-I levels showed a range between normal people and very high spontaneous secretion. Therefore in these patients there are either a GH peripheric resistance or a reduction of the activity of GH/IGF-I axis. Anyhow in our patients, GH 24 hour infusion was inducing a 5 fold increase in GH concentration and a 50% increase in basal IGF-I levels. Anker et al. suggested to evaluate nutritional state in heart failure patients, observing no differences in non-cachettic patients vs controls, while cachettic patients presented a typical GH resistance syndrome. Interestingly, cardiovascular effects of GH administration seem to be only marginally correlated to hemodinamic basal state. On the other hand basal hormonal setting of the patient seems to correlate to the GH-induced cardiovascular response. In fact, low basal IGF-I but high basal GH patients presented the worst endocrine and cardiovascular response to GH infusion. In literature there are controversial data about GH treatment in patients with chronic heart failure. The heterogeneity of the population could be the reason for this discrepancy. Besides very different IGF-I responses to GH have been reported. Therefore, as there is good clinical evidence that GH acute infusion can improve heart failure, it seems to be necessary firstly to evaluate the basal endocrine status of the patients. Particularly attention should be given to those patients that present a peripheric GH resistance. On the other hand, those patients with a reduced pituitary GH reserve are supposed to have very beneficial effects from GH treatment.

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