Update on epidemiology, etiology, and diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency.

F. Prodam, L. Pagano, G. Corneli, G. Golisano, S. Belcastro, A. Busti, V. Gasco, G. Beccuti, S. Grottoli, C. Di Somma, A. Colao, E. Ghigo, G. Aimaretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The most updated guidelines for the diagnosis of adult GH deficiency (GHD) come from the GH Research Society Consensus Workshop held in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Regarding who to test for GHD, advice should be extended from primitive hypothalamic- pituitary diseases and cranial irradiation to include brain injuries (Traumatic Brain Injury in particular). Regarding how to test for GHD, the insulin tolerance test (ITT) remains a provocative test of reference; among classical provocative test, glucagon test has also been validated. Above all, GHRH + arginine and GHRH + GH-secretagogues are now considered, at least, as reliable as ITT for the diagnosis of adult GHD. Interestingly, it is now accepted that very low IGF-I represents definite evidence of severe GHD in congenital forms of GHD and also in patients with acquired multiple hypopituitarism. These patients would skip provocative test; however, as normal IGFI levels do not rule out severe GHD, patients suspected for hypopituitarism showing normal IGF-I levels must undergo a provocative test of GH secretion. Retesting the GH status in the transition age is of major relevance in order to decide about continuing or not recombinant human GH replacement in adult life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number9 Suppl
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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