Growth Hormone Therapy for Muscle Regeneration in Severely Burned Patients

    Not Recruiting
  • End date
    Dec 22, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
Updated on 23 May 2022


The investigators have previously demonstrated that burn injury causes severe muscle wasting, weight and height retardation, and systemic protein catabolism in pediatric and adult burned patients. The persistent loss of muscle impairs the quality of life of the burned patients, and it also delays autonomy and reintegration into the community. In 2009, the investigators showed that the daily injection of recombinant human growth hormone (GH) for nine months post discharge significantly increased height and weight, as well as lean body mass, in pediatric burned subjects. Our long-term goal is to improve the quality of life of burn patients by preventing height, weight, and muscle loss that may occur from severe protein catabolism. The objectives of this application are to a) attenuate height and weight in burned patients with the administration of GH, b) prevent or reverse loss of muscle and strength in these patients, and c) collect pilot data about cardiopulmonary parameters, scar assessments, and muscle metabolism. Our central hypothesis is that the administration of GH will restore depleted levels of growth hormone and will lead to prevention of lean body mass loss and bone mineral content, improve rehabilitation, and accelerate reintegration of severely burned patients. The investigators will administer either placebo or GH (daily subcutaneous injections of 0.05 mg/kg/day of GH [somatropin, Genotropin, Pfizer, New York, NY] to adult burn subjects (n=31 per group, 18-85 years, >30% total body surface burns) for nine months beginning one week prior to discharge. Both groups will be studied for a total of two years. The following aims will be tested: 1) determine the effects of GH supplementation on body composition, such as lean body mass loss, muscle strength, and exercise endurance; and 2) assess whether rehabilitation and subsequent reintegration of severely burned patients into society can be accelerated. Investigators will measure changes in lean body mass, muscle strength and exercise endurance during the acute hospital stay, discharge, and long-term follow-up visits (6, 12, 18, and 24 months after burn), as well as secondary endpoints such as cardiopulmonary variables, hypertrophic scar development, quality of life questionnaires, and concentrations of relevant hormones, cytokines, and oxidative stress markers.


Either recombinant human growth hormone (daily subcutaneous injections of 0.05 mg/kg/day of GH at discharge [somatropin, Genotropin, Pfizer, New York, NY]; 0.025 mg/kg/day of GH titrated the week before discharge) or placebo (n=31) will be administered to adult burned subjects (n= 31, 18-85 years) after screening and voluntary consent who have 30% TBSA assessed by either the Lund and Browder chart or the 'rule of nines' method during excisional surgery. It will be administered daily for 9 months beginning the week before discharge, and the primary and secondary endpoints will be collected during the acute hospital stay, discharge, and long-term follow-up visits (6, 12, 18, and 24 months after burn injury). Additionally, subjects will be contacted frequently [most likely 1 week, 1 month, and 2 months post discharge by telephone] to ensure that there are no adverse events or concerns with their study drug, as well as visit with them during their clinical visits that address their post-burn needs. All subjects will receive similar standard medical care and treatment from the time of emergency admission until their discharge.

Growth hormone will be used to potentially attenuate losses in height, weight, muscle and bone, reverse the oxidative stress of burn injury and, in the process, decrease the secondary consequences of burn injury, including organ dysfunction. This may improve the quality of life of the burn patient by preventing pathophysiology that may result from muscle and bone loss and may reduce hospital stay. Our research will lay the foundation for the future development of effective, safe, and economic therapeutic interventions to treat burn injury-associated metabolic abnormalities. Also, it will provide the basis for the development of supplemental regulations and pharmacotherapy to treat burn patients with GH. The risks are very reasonable in relation to the anticipated benefits to our subjects because

  1. GH at a higher dose has been tested in pediatric burned subjects with minor adverse events, and b) the subjects will be monitored consistently.

Condition Burns, Growth Hormone Treatment
Treatment Somatropin, 0.09% Saline Solution
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03038594
SponsorThe University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
Last Modified on23 May 2022

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