Impairment of lung volumes and respiratory muscle strength in adult patients with growth hormone deficiency

Eur J Endocrinol. 1995 Dec;133(6):680-5. doi: 10.1530/eje.0.1330680.


Little is known of the respiratory function in patients with growth hormone (GH) deficiency. The aim of the present study was to evaluate lung volumes and respiratory muscle strength in patients diagnosed as GH deficient in childhood. Ten patients diagnosed as GH deficient in childhood and ten healthy subjects entered the study. For each subject the evaluation of respiratory function followed the same standard approach, consisting of respiratory muscle strength assessment, recording of flow-volume curves, measurement of static lung volumes and lung diffusing capacity. Both maximal inspiratory and expiratory mouth pressures were decreased in GH deficiency. Vital capacity, N2 functional residual capacity and total lung capacity were significantly reduced when compared to healthy subjects. Conversely, the residual volume and diffusing lung capacity to CO did not show any significant change. No significant change of percentage forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity ratio was observed. The decrease of respiratory mouth pressures was not correlated to the decrease of lung volumes. In conclusion, the results of this study show that adult patients affected with childhood onset GH deficiency suffer from impairment of ventilatory function and a decrease of respiratory muscle pressures, probably due to reduction of respiratory muscle strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Forced Expiratory Flow Rates / physiology
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Growth Disorders / pathology*
  • Growth Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency*
  • Growth Hormone / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Thyroid Hormones / blood
  • Total Lung Capacity


  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Growth Hormone