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The effect of growth hormone (GH) replacement on muscle strength in patients with GH-deficiency: a meta-analysis.CONTEXT/OBJECTIVES: GH replacement increases muscle mass and reduces body fat in growth hormone deficiency (GHD) adults. A recent meta-analysis has demonstrated that this improvement in body composition is associated with improved exercise performance. The current meta-analysis was carried out to determine whether high-quality evidence exists to support a beneficial effect of GH replacement on strength. DESIGN/METHODS: An extensive Medline search/literature review identified eight studies with utilizable, robust data, involving 231 patients in nine cohorts. Previously unpublished data were sought from authors and obtained in two cases. All studies included were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, of parallel or cross-over design and of an average 6.7 months duration. Information was retrieved in uniform format, with data pertaining to patient numbers, study-design, GH-dose, mean age, IGF-I levels and muscle strength measurements (isometric or isokinetic quadriceps strength) recorded. Data were analysed using a fixed-effects model, utilizing continuous data measured on different scales. A summary effect measure (d(s)) was derived for individual strength variables, whereas an overall summary effect was derived from the sum of all studies incorporating different variables; 95% CIs were calculated from the weighted variances of individual study effects. RESULTS: Analysis revealed no significant improvement, neither when all studies were combined (d(s) = +0.01 +/- 0.26) nor when measured individually (isometric quadriceps strength, d(s) = +0.02 +/- 0.32 and isokinetic quadriceps strength, d(s) = 0.00 +/- 0.45). CONCLUSIONS: Evidence from short-term controlled studies fails to support a benefit on muscle strength of GH replacement in GHD patients, which is likely to occur over a longer time-course, as seen in open-label studies.
Effects of 18 months of L-T4 replacement in women with subclinical hypothyroidism.CONTEXT: Some of the cardiovascular and renal abnormalities seen in overt hypothyroidism have also been reported in subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH). Short-term L-T4 replacement in SCH improves cardiovascular risk markers and reduces carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis. The haemodynamic and renal effects of L-T4 replacement in SCH are poorly understood. OBJECTIVES: To compare cardiovascular risk factors and renal variables in women with SCH and normal women. To study the effects of L-T4 replacement in SCH subjects on these variables and on structural and functional changes in common carotid and brachial arteries. DESIGN: Fifty-six women with SCH before and after L-T4 replacement for 18 months and 56 normal women of similar age distribution were studied. Blood Pressure (BP), plasma lipids and homocysteine were measured and renal function evaluated [estimation of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using standard equations and measurement of serum Cystatin-C] in women with SCH before and after 18 months of l-T4, and in healthy women. CIMT and endothelial function (using brachial artery ultrasound) were studied before and after L-T4 in a subgroup of women with SCH. RESULTS: Systolic and diastolic BP, total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL-cholesterol, lipoprotein(a) and homocysteine were greater in SCH (P < 0.05), and following L-T4 replacement decreased (P < 0.05) to levels that no longer differed from normal subjects. Estimated GFR was reduced and serum Cystatin-C increased (P < 0.05) in SCH. These variables also normalized following L-T4. Following L-T4 replacement the carotid artery baseline diameter increased by 7.1% and CIMT decreased by a mean value of 13%, while brachial artery diameter increased basally by 12.5% and following endothelium-dependent vasodilatation by 17.5% (P < 0.05). However, the increment following reactive hyperaemia did not differ before or following L-T4 replacement. CONCLUSION: Normalization of cardiovascular risk factors following L-T4 replacement in SCH potentially explains reduced CIMT. Increased carotid and brachial artery diameters and normalized eGFR indicates a haemodynamic effect of L-T4 replacement, the importance of which requires further investigation.