Feature Article

Growth hormone replacement therapy in adults: when does it have a role?

Emily K. Brooks, Warrick J. Inder

Figures

© universal images group/qa international/diomedia
© universal images group/qa international/diomedia

Abstract

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adults is characterised by abnormal body composition, skeletal effects, impaired physical function, unfavourable metabolic profile and reduced quality of life. The diagnosis of GHD requires biochemical confirmation with growth hormone stimulation testing in the context of an appropriate clinical history. Growth hormone replacement therapy benefits patients with confirmed adult GHD.

Key Points

  • Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adults is characterised by abnormal body composition, impaired physical function, metabolic and cardiovascular risks, adverse skeletal effects and reduced quality of life.
  • The diagnosis of GHD is confirmed by appropriate clinical history and rigorous biochemical criteria.
  • Biochemical diagnosis is essential and requires the demonstration of impaired growth hormone secretion in response to provocative stimuli. Only patients who are at risk of GHD should be tested.
  • Growth hormone replacement therapy in adults with GHD improves the signs and symptoms of GHD and quality of life.
  • From 1 December 2018, growth hormone replacement therapy has been available on the PBS for severe GHD in adults.

Figures

© universal images group/qa international/diomedia
© universal images group/qa international/diomedia