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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1991 Nov;35(5):409-12.

The effect of subcutaneous injection site on absorption of human growth hormone: abdomen versus thigh.

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Unit of Metabolic Medicine, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College of Technology, Science and Medicine, London, UK.



To investigate whether growth hormone (GH) absorption is site dependent.


Human growth hormone (hGH, Norditropin) 4 IU, was injected subcutaneously on two separate occasions: into the thigh on one occasion and into the abdomen on a second occasion. Blood was sampled for GH, insulin, glucose, non-esterified fatty acids and glycerol at baseline and hourly for 12 hours. Serum insulin-like growth factor I was measured at baseline, and after 12 and 24 hours.


Eleven healthy young adults (8 M, 3 F).


Following the injection serum GH had risen by 1 hour and peaked by 3-6 hours. The peak GH and growth hormone area under the curve were significantly higher after injection in the abdomen compared with the thigh (GH peak (mean +/- SEM) 103 +/- 20 vs 41 +/- 8 mU/l, P = 0.002 and GH area 528 +/- 86 vs 239 +/- 34 mU/l h, P = 0.003 respectively). Serum insulin-like growth factor I at 12 and at 24 hours showed a significant rise from the baseline level, but no significant difference was observed between the two injection sites. No significant difference in plasma insulin, glucose, non-esterified fatty acids or glycerol was observed between the two methods of injection.


Subcutaneously injected GH is better absorbed from the abdominal site than from the thigh.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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