What is the role of growth hormones in the treatment of HIV infection?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Fazia Mir, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Growth hormone (GH) is secreted by the anterior pituitary and acts via somatomedins and insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to increase muscle growth. In patients with HIV, direct disruption of the GH/IGF-1 axis occurs by the HIV virus (gp-120), which suppresses GH release. This results in a catabolic state. [8] Moyle et al used recombinant growth hormone in HIV patients at doses of 6mg/day for 12 weeks with lean body mass increases of approx 5 kg in the treatment arm. Exogenous GH comes with an unfavorable side effect profile, which includes hyperglycemia, arthralgias, myalgias, and peripheral edema; the decision to use GH should be done on an individual basis.

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