Value of measuring muscle performance to assess changes in lean mass with testosterone and growth hormone supplementation

E. Todd Schroeder, Jiaxiu He, Kevin E. Yarasheski, Ellen F. Binder, Carmen Castaneda-Sceppa, Shalender Bhasin, Christina M. Dieli-Conwright, Miwa Kawakubo, Ronenn Roubenoff, Stanley P. Azen, Fred R. Sattler, William J. Kraemer

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26 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that treatment with testosterone (T) and recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) would increase lean mass (LM) and muscle strength proportionally and an in a linear manner over 16 weeks. This was a multicenter, randomized, controlled, double-masked investigation of T and rhGH supplementation in older (71 ± 4 years) community-dwelling men. Participants received transdermal T at either 5 or 10 g/day as well as rhGH at 0, 3.0 or 5.0 μg/kg/day for 16 weeks. Body composition was determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and muscle performance by composite one-repetition maximum (1-RM) strength and strength per unit of lean mass (muscle quality, MQ) for five major muscle groups (upper and lower body) at baseline, week 8 and 17. The average change in total LM at study week 8 compared with baseline was 1.50 ± 1.54 kg (P < 0.0001) in the T only group and 2.64 ± 1.7 (P < 0.0001) in the T + rhGH group and at week 17 was 1.46 ± 1.48 kg (P < 0.0001) in the T only group and 2.14 ± 1.96 kg (P < 0.0001) in the T + rhGH group. 1-RM strength improved modestly in both groups combined (12.0 ± 23.9%, P < 0.0001) at week 8 but at week 17 these changes were twofold greater (24.7 ± 31.0%, P < 0.0001). MQ did not significantly change from baseline to week 8 but increased for the entire cohort, T only, and T + rhGH groups by week 17 (P < 0.001). Despite sizeable increases in LM measurements at week 8, tests of muscle performance did not show substantive improvements at this time point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1131
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Anabolic hormones
  • Androgen supplementation
  • HORMA study
  • Muscle quality


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