Scientific publications

Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) replacement therapy increases albumin concentration in liver cirrhosis: results of a pilot randomized controlled clinical trial.

Conchillo M, de Knegt RJ, Payeras M, Quiroga J, Sangro B, Herrero JI, Castilla-Cortazar I, Frystyk J, Flyvbjerg A, Yoshizawa C, Jansen PL, Scharschmidt B, Prieto J.
Department of Medicine and Liver Unit, Clinica Universitaria, Medical School and Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

Magazine: Journal of Hepatology

Date: Oct 1, 2005


Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is an anabolic hormone synthesized in the liver whose levels decrease sharply in liver cirrhosis.

We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the effect of subcutaneous administration of IGF-I (20 microg/kg/day with dose escalation to 50-100 microg/kg/day) for 4 months in patients with alcoholic or primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and subnormal IGF-I levels. Eight alcoholics and one PBC entered the placebo group and seven alcoholics and two PBC the treatment group. Biochemistry, body composition, muscle mass and strength, and resting energy expenditure (REE) were evaluated.

Total serum IGF-I and IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio (a surrogate marker of IGF-I biovailability) increased in the treatment group but IGF-I values still remained below normal limits in the treated patients. No differences were observed in body composition, muscle strength or muscle mass between groups. However, IGF-I therapy increased significantly serum albumin (P = 0.038) and this improvement correlated positively with variation of IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio. IGF-I treatment also tended to increase REE (P = 0.085); this difference was significant (P = 0.049) in the subgroup of alcoholic patients.

A short course of IGF-I increased albumin levels and tended to improve energy metabolism in liver cirrhosis. These findings warrant larger clinical trials to assess the clinical benefit of IGF-I in cirrhotic patients.

CITATION J Hepatol. 2005 Oct;43(4):630-6

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