Loss of body mass, or wasting, is a major cause of morbidity and a contributor to mortality in human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. Dietary supplements and appetite adjuvants have had limited effectiveness in treating this condition. GH and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) have been shown to be anabolic in many catabolic conditions, and limited data suggest similar efficacy in HIV wasting. In addition, it appears that GH and IGF-I may have complementary anabolic effects with opposing glucoregulatory effects. We report results from a 12-week randomized, placebo-controlled trial of combination recombinant human GH (rhGH; Nutropin; 0.34 mg, sc, twice daily) and rhIGF-I (5.0 mg, sc, twice daily) in individuals with HIV wasting and without active opportunistic infection, cancer, or gastrointestinal disease. A total of 142 subjects (140 males and 2 females) were randomized using a 2:1, double blind treatment scheme and assigned to receive either active treatment or placebo injections. Eighty subjects completed the 12-week protocol. Nutritional intake and demographic and clinical characteristics did not differ between the groups at any study time point. At 3 weeks, the treatment group had a significantly larger weight increase (P = 0.0003), but this difference was not observed at any later time point. Similarly, fat-free mass, calculated from skinfold measurements, increased transiently in the treatment group at 6 weeks (P = 0.002). No significant differences in isokinetic muscle strength or endurance testing or in quality of life were observed between the groups. Resting heart rate was significantly higher in the treatment group at each time point post-baseline. GH and IGF-binding protein-3 levels did not change; however, IGF-I levels were higher in the treatment group at 6 and 12 weeks. There were no significant between-group differences in any of the measured biochemical or immunological parameters. rhGH plus rhIGF-I treatment was associated with an increased incidence of peripheral edema and other side-effects, possibly related to fluid retention. We conclude that the combination of rhIGF-I and low dose rhGH used in this study had no significant anabolic effect in HIV wasting.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VC90100039
View details for PubMedID 8768860