Short-term growth hormone administration at the time of opportunistic infections in HIV-positive patients

N I Paton, P J Newton, D R Sharpstone, H M Ross, J Cotton, Alexander Graham Calder, Eric Milne, M Elia, S Shah, P Engrand, D C Macallan, B G Gazzard, G E Griffin

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    36 Citations (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVES: A 12-week course of recombinant human growth hormone is an effective but expensive therapy for established HIV-related wasting. Wasting in HIV disease is often episodic, coinciding with bouts of acute opportunistic infection. We hypothesized that a short course of growth hormone, targeted at the time of opportunistic infection, might improve protein metabolism thereby reducing lean tissue loss. METHODS: HIV-infected men with acute opportunistic infections, who received standard antimicrobial treatment for their infection as well as intensive nutritional counselling and oral energy supplements, were randomized to receive growth hormone or placebo for 14 days. Principal assessments were protein metabolism (measured by 13C-leucine infusion), body composition (measured by DEXA) and safety. RESULTS: There were no significant changes in outcome parameters in the placebo group (n = 11). In the growth hormone group (n = 9), protein catabolic rate decreased by 60% in the fasted state (P = 0.02 versus placebo), lean body mass increased by 2.2 kg (P = 0.03 versus baseline) and fat mass decreased by 0.7 kg (P = 0.002 versus baseline). There was no increase in adverse or serious adverse events in the growth hormone as compared with the placebo group. CONCLUSIONS: A two-week course of growth hormone at the time of acute opportunistic infection in HIV-infected patients improves protein metabolism and body composition during therapy and appears to be safe. This may represent a rational and economical approach to the use of growth hormone therapy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1195-1202
    Number of pages8
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 1999


    • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections
    • Adult
    • Body Composition
    • Double-Blind Method
    • Growth Hormone
    • HIV Wasting Syndrome
    • Hand Strength
    • Human Growth Hormone
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Proteins
    • Quality of Life
    • Treatment Outcome
    • Growth hormone
    • HIV wasting
    • body composition
    • protein metabolism


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