Hypopituitary patients have an increased risk of vascular mortality that may relate to growth hormone deficiency (GHD). We investigated the effects of 6 months of GH therapy on large- and small-artery function and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) in a cohort of GH-deficient patients. Sixteen hypopituitary patients were randomized to 6 months of GH therapy or no treatment, then vice versa. hsCRP, 24-h blood pressure (BP) and pulse wave velocity (PWV) were measured and resistance arteries were used to construct concentration-response curves to endothelium-dependent and -independent agents. GH therapy increased IGF-1 from 60 +/- 7.2 to 167 +/- 16.2 microg/l [confidence interval (CI) 94.9, 138.8, P < 0.001]. hsCRP declined after 6 months of GH from 3.8 +/- 0.88 to 2.0 +/- 0.49 mg/l (CI 0.73, 3.57, P = 0.006). Mean arterial BP fell from 91.7 +/- 1.5 to 89.3 +/- 1.2 mmHg (CI 0.81, 4.07, P = 0.005), as did PWV (8.1 +/- 0.4 to 6.7 +/- 0.5 m/s). The decline in PWV correlated with the decline in hsCRP (r = 0.68, P = 0.01). Resistance artery function was unchanged after GH therapy. GH replacement may lead to differentially altered production of vasorelaxant agents from the endothelium of large and small arteries. Reduction in vascular inflammation may be associated with reduced vascular risk.