Growth Hormone Therapy in Heart Failure: Where Are We Now?

Catherine Demers, MD, MSc, Robert S. McKelvie, MD, PhD


CHF. 2003;9(2) 

In This Article

Effects of GH Therapy in Animal Models of HF

Administration of GH and/or IGF-I has been assessed in different experimental animal models of HF, with most studies demonstrating beneficial effects, with improvements in myocardial contractility, cardiac output, and stroke volume, a decrease in peripheral vascular resistance, and possible prevention of apoptosis.[26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34] In the rat postinfarction model, administration of GH resulted in an increase in left ventricular stroke volume, cardiac index, and left ventricular ejection fraction, with an increase in left ventricular weight.[26] In the pig HF model of rapid ventricular pacing, GH induced myocyte hypertrophy with an increase in the cross-sectional cardiomyocyte area.[35] Furthermore, following implantation of GH-secreting tumors in rats, maximum isometric force of the left ventricular papillary muscle was increased.[36] In a study using the rapid pacing model in pigs, an orally administered GH secretagogue administered for 3 weeks increased the production of IGF-I, which resulted in significant improvements of left ventricular fractional shortening and left ventricular peak wall stress.[37]