Assessment of the Risks of Treatment with Human Growth Hormone

  • Louis E. Underwood
Part of the Serono Symposia, USA book series (SERONOSYMP)


Human growth hormone (GH) has an unusual history as a drug, having been used therapeutically for 30 years, but having its distribution limited to relatively few patients, most of whom were GH deficient. Although GH has had remarkably few observable side effects and is accepted as safe when used as replacement therapy (1), this experience provides little insight into the risks of using GH therapeutically in patients who are not GH deficient. Because we now accept that injections of pituitary GH place patients at risk for infection with the agent causing Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (2), it is likely that GH used therapeutically in the future will be obtained through recombinant DNA techniques. In this presentation, I will draw on data derived from studies of pituitary GH and try to assess the risks of using recombinant GH to treat conditions other than GH deficiency.


Growth Hormone Human Growth Hormone Turner Syndrome Acromegalic Patient Serum Insulin Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis E. Underwood
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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