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Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Jun;36(6):357-79. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Growth hormone perturbations in fibromyalgia: a review.

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1
Division of Arthritis & Rheumatic Diseases, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, 3455 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, fatigue, disrupted sleep, depression, and physical deconditioning. In this article, we review the literature on the normal activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-1 (HP-GH-IGF-1) axis and its perturbations in FM subjects.

METHODS:

Studies included in this review were accessed through an English language search of Cochrane Collaboration Reviews. Keyword MeSH terms included "fibromyalgia," "growth hormone" (GH), or "insulin-like growth factor-1" (IGF-1).

RESULTS:

Twenty-six studies enrolling 2006 subjects were reviewed. Overall, low levels of IGF-1 were found in a subgroup of subjects. Growth hormone stimulation tests often revealed a suboptimal response, which did not always correlate with IGF-1 levels. No consistent defects in pituitary function were found. Of the 3 randomized placebo controlled studies, only 9 months of daily injectable recombinant GH reduced FM symptoms and normalized IGF-1.

CONCLUSIONS:

These studies suggest that pituitary function is normal in FM and that reported changes in the HP-GH-IGF-1 axis are most likely hypothalamic in origin. The therapeutic efficacy of supplemental GH therapy in FM requires further study before any solid recommendations can be made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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