Article

Effects of ghrelin administration on left ventricular function, exercise capacity, and muscle wasting in patients with chronic heart failure.

Department of Internal Medicine, National Cardiovascular Center, 5-7-1 Fujishirodai, Suita, Osaka 565-8565, Japan.
Circulation (Impact Factor: 14.95). 12/2004; 110(24):3674-9. DOI: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000149746.62908.BB
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ghrelin is a novel growth hormone-releasing peptide that also induces vasodilation, inhibits sympathetic nerve activity, and stimulates feeding through growth hormone-independent mechanisms. We investigated the effects of ghrelin on left ventricular (LV) function, exercise capacity, and muscle wasting in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).
Human synthetic ghrelin (2 microg/kg twice a day) was intravenously administered to 10 patients with CHF for 3 weeks. Echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and blood sampling were performed before and after ghrelin therapy. A single administration of ghrelin elicited a marked increase in serum GH (25-fold). Three-week administration of ghrelin resulted in a significant decrease in plasma norepinephrine (1132+/-188 to 655+/-134 pg/mL; P<0.001). Ghrelin increased LV ejection fraction (27+/-2% to 31+/-2%; P<0.05) in association with an increase in LV mass and a decrease in LV end-systolic volume. Treatment with ghrelin increased peak workload and peak oxygen consumption during exercise. Ghrelin improved muscle wasting, as indicated by increases in muscle strength and lean body mass. These parameters remained unchanged in 8 patients with CHF who did not receive ghrelin therapy.
These preliminary results suggest that repeated administration of ghrelin improves LV function, exercise capacity, and muscle wasting in patients with CHF.

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