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Clin Nutr. 2001 Dec;20(6):503-10.

Combination of recombinant human growth hormone and glutamine-enriched total parenteral nutrition to surgical patients: effects on circulating amino acids.

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  • 1Department of Digestive Surgery, Trømso University Hospital, Norway.



Both recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) and glutamine (GLN) may have beneficial anabolic actions on amino acid metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the additive effects of rhGH and GLN on plasma amino acids postoperatively.


31 females undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy were randomized to three groups: Group I (n=10) received 13 IU/m(2) of rhGH the morning of surgery and the following three postoperative days, together with glutamine-free TPN for the first two postoperative days. Group II (n=11) received rhGH as the first group, together with glutamine-enriched (7 g GLN/m(2)/day) TPN. Group III (n=10) received glutamine-enriched TPN as the second group, but rhGH was replaced by placebo. Daily plasma amino acid concentrations and nitrogen balance were determined.


In the GH treated groups, the plasma concentrations of several amino acids were decreased on the third postoperative day, compared to preoperatively. This was not observed in Group III. The changes were more pronounced in Group II. In Group II the negative AV-differences of amino acids tended to be attenuated, while the patients in Group III had increased negative AV-differences. The cumulative nitrogen balance was significantly improved in the GH groups, compared with Group III.


The combined treatment of growth hormone and glutamine has additive effects on AV-balances of amino acids postoperatively, whereas nitrogen balance is not further improved when adding glutamine to rhGH treatment.

Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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