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AIDS. 2006 Apr 4;20(6):855-62.

Growth hormone secretion among HIV infected patients: effects of gender, race and fat distribution.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital Program in Nutritional Metabolism and Neuroendocrine Unit, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



To determine the effects of gender, race, and fat redistribution on growth hormone (GH) secretory patterns in HIV-infected patients.


We investigated GH responses to growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) + arginine stimulation testing in HIV-infected subjects with fat redistribution, comparing HIV-infected males (n = 139) and females (n = 25) to non HIV-infected male (n = 25) and female (n = 26) control subjects similar in age, body mass index and race.


A standard GHRH + arginine stimulation test [GHRH 1 microg/kg and arginine 0.5 g/kg (maximum dose 30 g)] was performed, and fat redistribution was assessed by anthropometry.


HIV-infected women had significantly higher peak GH in response to GHRH + arginine (36.4 +/- 7.3 versus 18.9 +/- 2.0 ng/ml; P = 0.003) and GH area under curve (AUC) (2679 +/- 593 versus 1284 +/- 133 (mg-min)/dl, P < 0.001) compared to HIV-infected men. Among men, a cutoff of 7.5 ng/ml for peak GH response on the GHRH + arginine test achieved good specificity and sensitivity and optimally separated the HIV and control groups (e.g., the failure rates were 37% versus 8%; P = 0.004, respectively). Among women, no specific cutoff could be determined to separate the HIV-infected and control subjects. Non-Caucasians demonstrated a higher GH AUC response compared to Caucasians, among the HIV-infected male subjects. In stepwise regression modeling waist-to-hip ratio was most significantly related to peak GH in response to GHRH + arginine in HIV-infected men.


HIV-infected men with fat redistribution have significantly reduced GH peak responses and increased failure rates to standardized GH stimulation testing in comparison to healthy male control subjects and to HIV-infected women of similar age and body mass index. GH secretion is related to gender and race in HIV-infected patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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