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Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Retrospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Effect of growth hormone on muscle function
Scientific title
Effect of growth hormone (GH) on anaerobic capacity: a double blind placebo-controlled study in growth hormone deficient (GHD) adults
Secondary ID [1] 285887 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Growth hormone deficiency 293810 0
Condition category
Condition code
Metabolic and Endocrine 294111 294111 0 0
Normal metabolism and endocrine development and function

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
A 2-month double-blind placebo controlled GH treatment (0.5mg/d) study with a crossover at 1 month, followed by an open-label active treatment phase (0.5mg/d) for 6 months in 20 GHD adults. There is no 'wash out' period between treatment periods. 4 weeks of Placebo treatment is adequate to wash out any GH effect on Wingate performance based on pilot data from our laboratory. GH is administered via subcutaneous injection. Adherence to the intervention will be assessed by counting empty drug vials and measuring plasma IGF1 levels.
Intervention code [1] 290869 0
Treatment: Drugs
Comparator / control treatment
Saline injection
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 293908 0
Anaerobic Capacity was assessed by a 30-second all out sprint on a cycle ergometer during the Wingate test
Timepoint [1] 293908 0
At baseline and at 1, 2 and 8 months
Primary outcome [2] 293909 0
Aerobic capacity was measured as VO2max during an incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer

Timepoint [2] 293909 0
At baseline and at 1, 2 and 8 months
Secondary outcome [1] 312132 0
Chair-stand test. This measures the number of chair-stand repetitions during 30 seconds

Timepoint [1] 312132 0
At baseline and at 1, 2 and 8 months
Secondary outcome [2] 312133 0
Stair-climb test. This measures the time taken to climb 4 flights of stairs.

Timepoint [2] 312133 0
At baseline and at 1, 2 and 8 months
Secondary outcome [3] 312134 0
7-day Pedometry. This measures the number of step counts over 7 days by a pedometer.
Timepoint [3] 312134 0
At baseline and at 1, 2 and 8 months
Secondary outcome [4] 312135 0
Metabolic gene expression in skeletal muscle.

This will be undertaken by studying genes regulating energy metabolism by microarray analysis of biopsies of quadriceps muscle
Timepoint [4] 312135 0
At 1, 2 and 8 months
Secondary outcome [5] 312137 0
Body composition assessed by DEXA scan
Timepoint [5] 312137 0
At baseline and at 1, 2 and 8 months

Key inclusion criteria
Growth hormone deficiency (diagnosed as per internationally accepted criteria)
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
70 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
1. Cardiac, respiratory, renal, liver or neurological disease
2. Pregnancy
3. Malignancy
4. Inability to consent

Study design
Purpose of the study
Allocation to intervention
Randomised controlled trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
GHD adults are recruited from outpatient clinics at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Randomisation codes are kept in an opaque, sealed envelope. Subjects are allocated to GH or placebo by a member of the team who is not involved in the study.
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
20 random numbers are generated by a computer assigning a specific treatment order to each number. These numbers are randomly allocated to 20 subjects.
Masking / blinding
Blinded (masking used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?
The people receiving the treatment/s
The people administering the treatment/s
The people assessing the outcomes
The people analysing the results/data
Intervention assignment
Other design features
Not Applicable
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis
In the double blind placebo controlled crossover study, the significance of differences between treatment groups will be evaluated by repeated measures ANOVA. These data will be analyzed for a carryover effect using mixed model analysis looking at the effect of the interaction between treatment order and treatment itself on the outcome measures.

In the 6-month open label study, the effects of GH on outcome measures will be analysed using paired t-test.

Associations will be analysed by simple linear regressions. Independent predictors of outcome measures will be analysed by multiple regression analysis.
The sample size is based on anaerobic capacity data from our studies in athletes and aerobic performance data from the literature. A sample size of 15 is required to show a 5% improvement in Wingate power and 18 for a 15% improvement in VO2max at a 0.05 level significance with 80% power.

Recruitment status
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment in Australia
Recruitment state(s)
Recruitment hospital [1] 3296 0
Princess Alexandra Hospital - Woolloongabba
Recruitment postcode(s) [1] 9080 0
4102 - Woolloongabba

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 290470 0
Name [1] 290470 0
Princess Alexandra Hospital Research Foundation
Address [1] 290470 0
199 Ipswich Rd, Brisbane, QLD 4102
Country [1] 290470 0
Primary sponsor type
Princess Alexandra Hospital
199 Ipswich Rd, Brisbane, QLD 4102
Secondary sponsor category [1] 289172 0
Commercial sector/Industry
Name [1] 289172 0
Novo Nordisk
Address [1] 289172 0
Level 3
21 Solent Circuit
Country [1] 289172 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 292139 0
Metro South Human Research Ethics Committee
Ethics committee address [1] 292139 0
Level 7, Translational Research Institute, 37 Kent Street, Brisbane, QLD 4102
Ethics committee country [1] 292139 0
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 292139 0
Approval date [1] 292139 0
Ethics approval number [1] 292139 0

Brief summary
Aerobic energy powers endurance exercises e.g. jogging, long distance running etc. and it is used as a measure of fitness. On the other hand, initiation of any activity (e.g. rushing for a bus, climbing stairs) relies on anaerobic energy that is provided by preformed energy in form of phosphocreatine and glycolysis (breakdown of glucose) that occurs in absence of oxygen. Hence, individuals with inadequate anaerobic energy levels usually struggle to carry out their activities of daily living and suffer from chronic fatigue. What regulates the Anaerobic Energy System (AES) is not well studied and the factors that enhance AES apart from physical training are not known.

Adults with Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) typically suffer from chronic fatigue and loss of vitality, symptoms suggesting impairment of the AES. These symptoms improve with GH replacement. However, the mechanisms underlying the symptomatology and how it is improved are poorly understood.

New research shows that GH plays a vital role in energy provision. A recent study showed that administration to healthy subjects with GH enhanced sprinting, which is a marker of anaerobic capacity. However, GH did not improve any other measures of physical performance. Another research studied the effects of GH treatment in GHD subjects at a cellular level and found that GH favored the use of glucose (anaerobic glycolysis) over fat as a fuel for energy provision in muscle cells. These studies indicate that GH may have a positive role in regulating the AES.

The main aims of this study are to investigate the effects of GH on anaerobic capacity and genes governing energy metabolism in skeletal muscle, and study the relationship between the AES and physical function.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 53698 0
Prof Ken Ho
Address 53698 0
Level 7, Translational Research Institute, 37 Kent Street, Brisbane, QLD 4102
Country 53698 0
Phone 53698 0
+61 7 3443 8065
Fax 53698 0
Email 53698 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 53699 0
Dr Viral Chikani
Address 53699 0
Dept of Diabetes and Endocrinology,
Princess Alexandra Hospital
199 Ipswich Rd, Brisbane, QLD 4102
Country 53699 0
Phone 53699 0
+61 7 3176 2111
Fax 53699 0
Email 53699 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 53700 0
Prof Ken Ho
Address 53700 0
Level 7, Translational Research Institute, 37 Kent Street, Brisbane, QLD 4102
Country 53700 0
Phone 53700 0
+61 7 3443 8065
Fax 53700 0
Email 53700 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary