Research Article| Volume 76, ISSUE 4, P678-688, October 1970

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Cirrhosis and diabetes. V. Serum human growth hormone levels in Laennec's cirrhosis

  • H.O. Conn
    Reprint requests: Dr. Harold O. Conn, Veterans Administration Hospital, West Spring St., West Haven, Conn. 06516.
    From the Veterans Administration Hospital, West Haven, Conn., USA

    From the Department of Medicine of the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., USA

    From the Metabolism Division, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., USA
    Search for articles by this author
  • W.H. Daughaday
    From the Veterans Administration Hospital, West Haven, Conn., USA

    From the Department of Medicine of the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., USA

    From the Metabolism Division, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., USA
    Search for articles by this author
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      Observations that the frequency of diabetes and serum growth hormone (GH) levels are both elevated in cirrhosis suggest a possible relationship. Serum glucose, insulin, and GH were studied after the oral and intravenous administration of glucose in 18 patients with Laennec's cirrhosis, including 3 studied before and after portacaval anastomosis. Fasting GH levels were elevated in 14 of the 18 patients. The cirrhosis was more advanced and usually associated with portal hypertension in those patients with elevated GH levels. Although the mean GH concentration decreased after oral glucose, some patients exhibited paradoxical increments and, in others, GH levels were not suppressed. Intravenous glucose was even less effective in suppressing GH levels. If sustained, hypersomatotropism could contribute to carbohydrate intolerance in cirrhotic patients and to overt diabetes in those with genetic susceptibility to diabetes.
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