Dental implants are successfully used for tissue-integrated protheses, but the long-term survival in the maxilla is shorter than in the mandible [Cune MS, Thesis, University of Utrecht, 1993; Jaffin RA, Berman CL. J Periodontol 1991;62:2-4]. However, by adding growth hormone at implantation, increased bone apposition may be expected, since it is known that growth hormone has a stimulating effect on the differentiation and proliferation of osteoblastic cells [Ernst M, Froesch ER. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1988;151:142-47; Scheven BAA et al. Growth Regul 1991;1:160-67; Stracke H et al. Acta Endocrinol 1984;107:16-24]. We studied bone ingrowth and bone contact of grooved implants impregnated with growth hormone in the cortex of femurs of female goats. We compared the effect of growth hormone on grooved implants with or without calcium phosphate coatings at the bottom of the grooves. The coatings used were hydroxyapatite, fluorapatite and heat-treated hydroxyapatite. The implants had both small and large grooves. The implants were positioned in the cortex of one femur and were treated with recombinant human growth hormone, while the implants on the opposite femur served as controls. After 6 weeks, the implants and surrounding tissues were dissected and evaluated histomorphologically and morphometrically by light microscopy. The bone ingrowth and the bone contact in the grooves were quantified by digital image analysis. Calcium phosphate coating at the bottom of the grooves resulted in a significant increase of bone ingrowth and bone contact. Small grooves had significantly more bone ingrowth and bone contact than the larger grooves. However, all implants impregnated with growth hormone showed inhibition of bone contact and bone ingrowth. We conclude that recombinant human growth hormone inhibits bone formation in the grooves coated with calcium phosphate. Without the addition of growth hormone, the calcium phosphate coatings improved bone ingrowth and bone contact in the grooves. Further studies are required to determine whether growth hormone could also possibly act as a bone growth promoting factor in these implants.