The Role of Cytokines on Growth Hormone Suppression in Premenopausal Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Effect of Treatment With Etanercept
This study has two phases. Phase 1 will examine the role of inflammatory mediators called cytokines on growth hormone levels in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Phase 2 will evaluate the effect of etanercept on these growth hormone levels. Etanercept is approved for the treatment of RA. It lowers the levels of a key inflammatory mediator called tumor necrosis factor-alpha and is very effective in reducing arthritis symptoms.
Growth hormone promotes bone and muscle growth. With aging, people lose muscle mass and bone strength, possibly because of decreased levels of growth hormone. People with RA have bone and muscle changes similar to those in older people, perhaps also due to decreased levels of growth hormone. The first part of this study will see if the inflammatory mediators responsible for joint inflammation (warmth, redness, pain, and swelling) in RA are related to the lowered growth hormone levels in this disease. The second part will evaluate the effect of etanercept treatment on muscle mass and bone density, in addition to growth hormone levels.
Premenopausal women between 18 and 55 years of age with a recent diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (less than 3 years) are eligible for this study. Healthy volunteers will also be enrolled in the first phase of the study as control subjects. This study is conducted at two sites, the NIH and the Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore.
Healthy volunteers enrolled in this study will be interviewed about their health status and will fill out questionnaires on diet and general physical function, including fatigue, energy and well being. In addition, they will be hospitalized once at the NIH Clinical Center for 24-hour blood sampling and will visit to Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore for a brachial artery reactivity study, as follows:
- 24-hour blood sampling for growth hormone levels. Blood samples (1/2 teaspoon each) will be collected every 20 minutes from 8 AM one day until 8 AM the following day through a plastic tube in an arm vein.
- Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan on a small area of the spine, hip and wrist to assess bone density and a total body DEXA scan to assess the amount and distribution of muscle and body fat.
- Blood vessel (brachial artery reactivity) study to measure the ability of the brachial artery to dilate and increase its blood flow. For this procedure, the subject lies on a table with electrocardiogram leads attached to the chest. A blood pressure cuff is inflated for several minutes and a drop of nasal spray of nitroglycerin is given that may cause a headache. Blood pressure and headache are monitored and treated as needed.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis will be seen at the NIH clinic on six separate visits (weeks 0, 1, 6, 12, 18, and 26) over 26 weeks. Week 0 is a screening visit. At weeks 1 and 26, patients will be admitted to the hospital for 24-hour blood sampling, DEXA scans, and brachial artery reactivity tests, as described above, plus X-rays of the hand and feet. After the first visit, they will start taking etanercept, given by self-injection under the skin (like insulin shots) twice a week. Follow-up visits at weeks 6, 12, and 18 will involve evaluations of disease activity and drug side effects through joint examination, blood tests, and questionnaires.
|Study Design:||Primary Purpose: Treatment|
|Official Title:||Suppression of the Growth Hormone/ Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (GH/IGF-1) Axis in Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis|
|Study Start Date:||April 2002|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||December 2005|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00034060
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|