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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Aug;11(11):1835-44. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2010.485615.

Growth hormone and testosterone in heart failure therapy.

Author information

1
Cedars Sinai Medical Center Los Angeles, Cedars Sinai Heart Institute, 8700 Beverly Boulevard, Suite 6215, Los Angeles, California 90048, USA.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD:

Heart failure is a progressive disease affecting millions of people worldwide. The disease carries a significantly high morbidity and mortality risk. There are multiple pharmaceutical options to decrease this risk and prolong survival; however, despite optimization of medical management, several patients still await heart transplant, the only definitive cure for heart failure. To slow the progression of disease preventing need for transplantation, improve clinical symptoms, and improve heart failure outcomes, there is a persistent need to discover new therapeutic strategies. Of interest, low growth hormone and testosterone levels have been associated with a worsening degree of heart failure. Many studies have begun to show a clinical improvement in heart failure symptoms when these levels are corrected with hormonal therapy. These findings, although mixed, are promising and indicate that both testosterone and growth hormone therapy should be considered as adjunctive therapy in advanced heart failure patients.

AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW:

This review discusses the physiology of both of these natural hormones, their therapeutic effects in heart failure and data from the published literature on studies using growth hormone or testosterone in patients with chronic heart failure. An extensive search of PubMed was conducted for topics on heart failure, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, testosterone, their physiology and pathophysiology, and trials in which they have been used as therapeutic interventions between 1989 and 2009.

WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN:

The reader will gain an understanding of the intricate balance of both of these hormones in the disease state of heart failure. In addition, the trials conducted using these hormones in pharmacotherapy for heart failure are discussed along with proposed theories for interstudy variability.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:

Testosterone deficiency and growth hormone resistance are positively associated with a poor state of heart failure. Treatment of deficiency improves outcomes in heart failure; however, there is a significant paucity of data with regard to testosterone and heart failure as well as a significant amount of study variability with growth hormone and heart failure.

PMID:
20486829
DOI:
10.1517/14656566.2010.485615
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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