Should I be tested for growth hormone deficiency?
No. The syndrome of isolated growth hormone deficiency, without previous history of pituitary disease, is very rare. The testing is not 100%; the chance of a false-positive test is higher than the chance of the disease being real. If there is a high suspicion for HGH deficiency, at least two formal tests should be performed to reduce the chance of a false-positive result. The tests should include an insulin tolerance test and a GHRH-arginine test. These tests should only be performed by experienced clinicians, as they have some potential risk.
Who should use human growth hormone?
Human growth hormone is approved for children with HGH deficiency or who have diseases that cause short stature (such as Turner’s syndrome), and adult patients with proven HGH deficiency, muscle wasting due to HIV, or short-bowel syndrome.
Recommended sources for additional information:
- The Hormone Foundation at www. Hormone.org
- Molitch M et al. Evaluation and Treatment of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, June 2011, p1587-1609
- Liu H, et al. Systemic review: The safety and efficacy of growth hormone in the healthy elderly. Annals of Internal Medicine 2007, p104-115.