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Defining growth hormone deficiency in adults


The absence of a distinct clinical syndrome calls for a strategy to reliably identify patients with hyposomatotropism. However, there is no consensus as to the most appropriate method of defining growth hormone (GH) deficiency in adults. Since GH secretion falls with senescence and is also reduced by obesity, both of these factors must be controlled for in such an evaluation. We have investigated the relative diagnostic merits of measuring (1) peak GH response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia (ITT), (2) mean 24-hour GH concentration derived from 20-minute sampling (IGHC), (3) serum IGF-I levels, and (4) serum insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels. These tests were undertaken in 23 patients considered GH-deficient from extensive organic pituitary disease and in 35-sex-matched normal subjects of similar age and body mass index. The ITT was the only test capable of distinguishing patients with organic GH deficiency from matched normal subjects. The sensitivity of the GH radioimmunoassay (0.2 ng/mL) limited the utility of IGHC measurements, since many subjects from both groups had undetectable values. Using a GH assay with a 100-fold greater sensitivity, we found a better but still incomplete separation of values between the two groups. There was a significant overlap of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 values, with only a third of GH-deficient subjects having low IGF-I values. The limitation of IGF-I has been confirmed by others, although its sensitivity as a diagnostic test is greater in young adults. We conclude that organic GH deficiency in adults can be reliably diagnosed by the ITT.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Type Journal
ISBN 0026-0495 (Print)
Authors Ho, K. K.;Hoffman, D. M. :
Published Date 1995-01-01
Published Volume 44
Published Issue 10 Suppl 4
Published Pages 91-6
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version