Discordant GH and IGF-1 Results in Treated Acromegaly: Impact of GH Cutoffs and Mean Values Assessment

Claudia Campana, Francesco Cocchiara, Giuliana Corica, Federica Nista, Marica Arvigo, Jessica Amarù, Diego Criminelli Rossi, Gianluigi Zona, Diego Ferone, Federico Gatto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CONTEXT: Discordant growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) values are frequent in acromegaly. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of different GH cutoffs on discordance rate. To investigate whether the mean of consecutive GH measurements impacts discordance rate when matched to the last available IGF-1 value. DESIGN: Retrospective study. SETTING: Referral center for pituitary diseases. PATIENTS: Ninety acromegaly patients with at least 3 consecutive evaluations for GH and IGF-1 using the same assay in the same laboratory (median follow-up 13 years). INTERVENTIONS: Multimodal treatment of acromegaly. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Single fasting GH (GHf) and IGF-1 (IGF-1f). Mean of 3 GH measurements (GHm), collected during consecutive routine patients' evaluations. RESULTS: At last evaluation GHf values were 1.99 ± 2.79 µg/L and age-adjusted IGF-1f was 0.86 ± 0.44 × upper limit of normality (mean ± SD). The discordance rate using GHf was 52.2% (cutoff 1 µg/L) and 35.6% (cutoff 2.5 µg/L) (P = 0.025). "High GH" discordance was more common for GHf <1.0 µg/L, while "high IGF-1" was predominant for GHf <2.5 µg/L (P < 0.0001). Using GHm mitigated the impact of GH cutoffs on discordance (GHm <1.0 µg/L: 43.3%; GHm <2.5 µg/L: 38.9%; P = 0.265). At receiver-operator characteristic curve (ROC) analysis, both GHf and GHm were poor predictors of IGF-1f normalization (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.611 and AUC = 0.645, respectively). The prevalence of disease-related comorbidities did not significantly differ between controlled, discordant, and active disease patients. DISCUSSION: GH/IGF-1 discordance strongly depends on GH cutoffs. The use of GHm lessen the impact of GH cutoffs. Measurement of fasting GH levels (both GHf and GHm) is a poor predictor of IGF-1f normalization in our cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-801
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 8 2021


  • acromegaly
  • biochemical control
  • comorbidities
  • discordance
  • GH
  • IGF-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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