Growth Hormone Evaluation in the Elderly People


The aim of this study is to evaluate the growth hormone (GH) and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) secretion in elderly without hypothalamic-pituitary disease using the glucagon stimulation test (using Glucagen® Hypokit, Novo Nordisk A/S, Denmark) and evaluate some parameters such as sarcopenia, nutritional state, bone mineral density, frailty criteria with secretion of GH.

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: N/A
    • Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Diagnostic
    • Masking: None (Open Label)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: August 2013

Detailed Description

subjects over 65 years old were recruited from the geriatric ambulatory unit of our hospital to voluntarily participate in a research study concerning the GH and ACTH axis in the elderly, which included the realization of the glucagon stimulation test as the first phase of the study. The GST (Glucagen® Hypokit, Novo Nordisk A/S, Denmark) was the chosen test to assess both ACTH and GH release because of its few known contraindications and mild side effects. It is a provocative test to evaluate GH and ACTH axis, i.e, a diagnostic test, without therapeutic effects.


  • Other: growth hormone secretion
    • The glucagon stimulation test (GST) was performed by intramuscular injection of 1 mg of glucagon (Glucagen® Hypokit, Novo Nordisk A/S, Denmark). The blood samples were collected at baseline and after 90 minutes, 120 minutes, 150 minutes and 180 minutes of glucagon injection for GH and cortisol measurements. The subjects were recumbent during the test, and a cannula was maintained in a vein in the arm or forearm with a saline solution slowly infused to avoid multiple punctures.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Other: growth hormone secretion
    • The elderly had common morbidities peculiar to their age, such as systemic arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, initial stages of senile dementia, and osteoporosis.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Growth Hormone Secretion in the elderly people using glucagon stimulation test (GST)
    • Time Frame: up to one week

Secondary Measures

  • ACTH release in the elderly people using GST
    • Time Frame: up to one week
    • ACTH: adrenocorticotrophic hormone

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • elderly people above 65 years old with comorbidities peculiar to their age (such as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, parkinson disease) or without comorbidities Exclusion Criteria:

  • pituitary disease, severe acute disease, terminal renal chronic disease, active malignant cancer, the presence of any other disease that could interfere with the somatotrophic axis evaluation, and the contraindications for glucagon administration (pheochromocytoma, insulinoma and malnourishment).

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 65 Years

Maximum Age: 95 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Ana Beatriz Winter Tavares, MD – Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Flávia L Conceição, PhD, Study Director, Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho – UFRJ

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