Testing growth hormone deficiency in adults

Enrico Gabellieri, Luca Chiovato, Mary Lage, Ana I. Castro, Felipe F. Casanueva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adults is a recognized syndrome which is defined biochemically within an appropriate clinical context. Clinically, patients investigated for GHD should include those with signs and symptoms of hypothalamic-pituitary disease, those who have received cranial irradiation or tumor treatment and those with traumatic brain injury or subarachnoid hemorrhage. Patients with three or more pituitary hormone deficiencies and an IGF-I below the reference range do not require provocative testing. The other patients need a provocative test of GH secretory reserve for the diagnosis of GHD. Insulin tolerance test is considered the diagnostic test of choice, however, the GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) + arginine, the GHRH + growth hormonereleasing peptide and the glucagon stimulation tests are well validated alternative tests in adults. Cutoffs differ across tests and results may be influenced by gender, age, body mass index, and the assay reference preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPituitary Today II: New Molecular, Physiological and Clinical Aspects
PublisherS. Karger AG
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783805594455, 9783805594448
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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