Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease following human growth hormone therapy: case report

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2002 Jun;60(2-B):458-61. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x2002000300022.


We report the case of a 41-year-old man with iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) acquired after the use of growth hormone (GH) obtained from a number of pituitary glands sourced from autopsy material. The incubation period of the disease (from the midpoint of treatment to the onset of clinical symptoms) was rather long (28 years). Besides the remarkable cerebellar and mental signs, the patient exhibited sleep disturbance (excessive somnolence) from the onset of the symptoms, with striking alteration of the sleep architecture documented by polysomnography. 14-3-3 protein was detected in the CSF, and MRI revealed increased signal intensity bilaterally in the striatum, being most evident in diffusion-weighted (DW-MRI) sequences. This is the second case of iatrogenic CJD associated with the use of GH reported in Brazil.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Adult
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins / analysis*
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / etiology*
  • Human Growth Hormone / adverse effects*
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / cerebrospinal fluid


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase