Is there a role for growth hormone replacement in adults to control acute and post-acute COVID-19?

Navneet Venugopal, Peyton A. Armstrong, Traver J. Wright, Kathleen M. Randolph, Richard D. Batson, Kevin C.J. Yuen, Brent Masel, Melinda Sheffield-Moore, Richard B. Pyles, Randall J. Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic created a multitude of medical crossroads requiring real time adaptations of best practice covering preventative and interventional aspects of care. Among the many discoveries borne from efforts to address the myriad clinical presentations across multiple organ systems was a common impact on tissues with cells that express the ACE-2 receptor. The vast majority of acute infections began and often ended in the respiratory tract, but more recent evaluations have confirmed significant extrapulmonary manifestations including symptom clusters that extend beyond the acute phase of infection collectively referred to as “post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection” (PASC) or more commonly as “long (-haul) COVID”. Both acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and PASC are associated with gut microbiome dysbiosis and alterations in the gut-brain and HPA-axis in a subset of the infected. Mounting evidence suggests these extrapulmonary manifestations may ultimately lead to reduced growth hormone (GH) secretion as demonstrated following stimulation tests. Disrupted GH secretion could cause or exacerbate long lasting neuropsychological symptoms as seen in other similar manifesting conditions. Ongoing clinical research has shown promising improvement in PASC patients with fatigue and cognition complaints can be achieved via GH replacement therapy. GH stimulation testing should be considered in PASC workups and future research should delve deeper into the mechanistic effects of GH on acute COVID and PASC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101842
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • COVID-19
  • growth hormone
  • gut-brain axis
  • microbiome
  • post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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