OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of growth hormone on metabolism and quality of life of spinal cord injured patients. METHOD: Thirteen chronic spinal cord injured patients without metabolic and psychologic disorders except growth hormone deficiency were included in the study. They were randomly divided into two groups. Seven patients received growth hormone and six patients received distilled water as control. Before and after 6 months' administration, we measured Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency Assessment (AGHDA) and Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWBI) for assessing quality of life. Bone mineral density (BMD), osteocalcin, urine deoxypyridinoline, % lean body mass, % body fat, body mass index (BMI) and lipid profile were also examined for assessing metabolic states. RESULTS: The AGHDA score decreased significantly from 6.7+/-2.9 to 3.9+/-2.1 (p<0.05), and the PGWBI score increased significantly from 81.7+/-14.8 to 88.7+/-8.7 (p<0.05) in growth hormone treatment group. There were no significant differences in control group. Other values about metabolic states were not significantly different in all groups. CONCLUSION: Growth hormone was effective on improving quality of life in spinal cord injured patients, but there was no positive effect on metabolic values for short-term therapy.