Growth hormone and pulmonary disease. Metabolic effects in patients receiving parenteral nutrition

Arch Intern Med. 1990 Jun;150(6):1225-30.


Six severely malnourished patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were maintained for 3 days with infusions of 5% dextrose in water followed by 12 days of eucaloric total parenteral nutrition. On days 8 through 11, they received 30 micrograms/d of growth hormone and twice this amount on days 11 through 15. Growth hormone had no significant effects on the plasma concentration of glucose, cortisol, or glucagon but caused a 50% increase in insulin and a 250% increase in somatomedin C concentrations. A positive nitrogen balance of 2 g/d due to growth hormone was probably mediated by insulin. Growth hormone-induced increases in energy expenditure and fat oxidation and decrease in glucose oxidation cannot be accounted for by insulin. The ability of growth hormone to improve nitrogen balance may be particularly important for malnourished patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who, because of their pulmonary insufficiency, are intolerant of excess nutrients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Composition
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Nutrition Disorders / complications
  • Nutrition Disorders / metabolism
  • Nutrition Disorders / therapy*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Parenteral Nutrition, Total*
  • Respiratory Function Tests


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone
  • Nitrogen