Biosynthetic Growth Hormone: Impact on Nitrogen Metabolism and Muscle Function in Stressed Patients

  • C. Pichard
  • P. Jolliet
Part of the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine 1993 book series (YEARBOOK, volume 1993)


Severe and prolonged stress, such as that witnessed in critical care patients, results in a negative nitrogen balance associated with a drastic reduction of body muscle mass, strength and endurance. This can lead to prolonged mechanical Ventilation, hospitalization, and increased morbidity. Nutritional supplementation has been shown to improve outcome in such patients [1]. However, in many patients, negative nitrogen balance and muscle wasting persist in spite of nutritional support [2], This has lead to explore the potential benefits, in such situations, of anabolic hormones. Among these, pituitary growth hormone (GH) is the most powerful. Recently, the biosynthetic growth hormone (rGH) has become available for clinical applications and many reports have shown that it reduces, or even prevents, nitrogen catabolism during prolonged stress [3-13] (Fig. 1). This review discusses the current knowledge and the potential development of rGH utilization in critical care medicine.


Growth Hormone Nutritional Support Human Growth Hormone Nitrogen Balance Nitrogen Retention 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

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  • C. Pichard
  • P. Jolliet

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