• Test Code - PL0529
  • Test Name - Growth Hormone
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Test Details & Preparation

  • Growth hormone (GH) testing is primarily used to identify growth hormone deficiency and to help evaluate pituitary gland function, usually as a follow-up to other abnormal pituitary hormone test results.

  • Growth hormone (GH) testing is also done detect excess GH and to help diagnose and monitor the treatment of acromegaly and gigantism.

  • Growth hormone stimulation tests help to diagnose growth hormone deficiency and hypopituitarism.

  • Growth hormone suppression tests help to diagnose growth hormone excess.

  • Growth hormone stimulation testing is ordered for a child when there are signs of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) like delayed puberty, delayed bone development, short stature as compared to other children of same age and a slow growth rate in childhood.

  • Growth hormone stimulation testing is ordered for adults when there are signs of hypopituitarism like fatigue, decreased bone density, reduced exercise tolerance and adverse lipid changes.

  • After fasting for 10 to 12 hours, a blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm. Then, under medical supervision, the growth hormone suppression or stimulation procedure is performed. This may involve the use of an intravenous (IV) infusion. Blood samples are then drawn from a vein at timed intervals.

  • Children and early adolescents who are being tested for growth hormone deficiency should be prepared for treatment with sex steroids for a few days prior to testing. Such treatment reduces the number of falsely low growth hormone responses to stimulation.

  • If growth hormone levels are not significantly stimulated during a GH stimulation test and the person has signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency (GHD), then it is likely that there is a GH deficiency that the health practitioner may treat.

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