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Recombinant human growth hormone increases albumin and prolongs survival in patients with chronic liver failure: A pilot open, randomized, and controlled clinical trial.

Author(s): Li N, Zhou L, Zhang B, Dong P, Lin W, Wang H, Xu R, Ding H

Affiliation(s): Department of GI and Hepatology, Beijing You'an Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, China.

Publication date & source: 2007-12-27, Dig Liver Dis., [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) in the treatment of patients with chronic liver failure. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: One hundred and fourteen patients with chronic liver failure were randomly divided into two groups: (1) 56 patients in the rhGH treatment group received 4.5IU of rhGH intramuscularly daily for 4 weeks and (2) 58 patients in the control-treatment group. Fifteen healthy subjects served as normal controls. Symptoms and complications were recorded. The prognosis was analysed by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. The serum GH, IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and insulin levels were determined using ELISA. RESULTS: The efficacy of rhGH treatment was 87.5% (vs. 38.1% in the controls-treatment group, p<0.01). The serum GH, IGF-1, IGFBP-3, and insulin levels in patients with chronic liver failure were significantly different than the levels in the normal controls (5.50+/-4.21 vs. 1.57+/-1.27, 80.45+/-69.99 vs. 172.97+/-78.12, 109.93+/-87.53 vs. 373.41+/-119.07, and 31.99+/-49.87 vs. 6.72+/-1.09, respectively, p<0.05-0.001). The serum IGF-1, IGFBP-3, albumin, proalbumin, and cholesterol levels were significantly increased after rhGH treatment; however, the serum GH and insulin levels were decreased. The survival rate of the rhGH treatment and control-treatment groups after 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months of treatment was 98.21% vs.75.86%, 91.07% vs.62.07%, 66.07% vs.22.41%, and 55.36% vs.13.79%, respectively. Cox regression analysis showed that rhGH was an independent factor in predicting the survival of patients after 3 and 6 months of treatment with rhGH. CONCLUSIONS: rhGH replacement therapy increased albumin and tended to improve survival in adult patients with chronic liver failure.

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