Short-term recombinant human growth hormone administration improves respiratory function in abstinent anabolic-androgenic steroid users

Growth Horm IGF Res. 2007 Aug;17(4):328-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ghir.2007.04.003. Epub 2007 May 23.


Objectives: To determine whether 6 days recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) administration, in an abstinent anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) using group had any respiratory, endurance exercise and biochemical effects compared with an abstinent AAS control group.

Methods: Male subjects (n=48) were randomly divided, using a single blind procedure into two groups: (1) control group (C) n=24, means+/-SD, age 32+/-11 years; height 1.8+/-0.06 m; (2) rhGH using group (0.019 mg kg(-1) day(-1)) (GH) n=24, means+/-SD, age 32+/-9 years; height 1.8+/-0.07 m. Anthropometry, respiratory muscle function and endurance exercise were investigated. Respiratory measurements examined, were forced expiratory volume in one second, forced vital capacity, maximum inspiratory pressure and maximum expiratory pressure. Endurance exercise was assessed by measuring peak oxygen uptake (VO(2)peak). Biochemical analysis included; haemoglobin, packed cell volume, glucose, sodium, urea, creatinine, total protein, albumin, testosterone and insulin like growth factor-I (IGF-I).

Results: Forced expiratory volume in one second/forced vital capacity, maximum inspiratory pressure, maximum expiratory pressure, and IGF-I significantly increased compared with the control group (all P<0.05). Body mass index, fat free mass index, peak oxygen uptake, maximum inspiratory pressure, maximum expiratory pressure, IGF-I and serum sodium significantly increased, whilst body fat, total protein and albumin, significantly decreased within the GH group (all P<0.017).

Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated that short-term high dose rhGH increased aerobic performance and respiratory muscle strength in former AAS users.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Doping in Sports
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Testosterone Congeners*
  • Time Factors


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Testosterone Congeners
  • Human Growth Hormone