“Non-Classical” Indication for Provocative Testing of Growth Hormone: A Retrospective Cohort Study in Adult Patients Under Replacement Therapy

Author(s): Antonio Mancini*, Carmine Bruno, Edoardo Vergani, Alessandro Brunetti, Gerardo Palmisano, Alfredo Pontecorvi

Journal Name: Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
Formerly Current Drug Targets - Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders

Volume 21 , Issue 8 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Adult growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is considered a rare condition. Current guidelines state that GH provocative test is indicated in patients affected by organic hypothalamic/ pituitary disease or with a history of head injury, irradiation, hemorrhage or hypothalamic disease with multiple pituitary deficiencies. Nevertheless, the clinical picture related to GHD may be subtle.

Objective: We have retrospectively evaluated the indication to GHRH+arginine test in our monocentric cohort of patients treated with hrGH in order to assess whether other conditions had been considered as a rationale for provocative testing.

Methods: Ninety-six patients (51 females and 45 males), aged 19-67 years were included. The GHRH+arginine test had been performed in 29 patients with organic hypothalamic/pituitary disease and in 4 patients for Childhood onset-GHD (CoGHD). In other patients, the diagnosis was suspected for “non classical” reasons in the clinical picture suspected for GHD.

Results: Classical indications included previously known primary empty sella (n=15), pituitary surgery (n=14), pituitary cyst (n=1), non-secreting pituitary tumors (n=3) but more than half of the patients (57.3%) had been studied for “non classical” indications: metabolic syndrome (n=25), asthenia (n=13), heart failure (n=4), osteoporosis (n=6), unexplained hypoglycaemia (n=1) and infertility (n=6). The latter represented a significant percentage in the male subgroup under 45 ys. IGF-1 levels were lower than 50th percentile in 63% of patients. Finally, among non-classical reasons, organic pituitary disease was discovered in 22 patients.

Conclusion: Idiopathic GHD may be unrecognized due to its subtle manifestations and that an extended use of dynamic GH tests may reveal such conditions. A potential field of investigation could be to identify subsets of patients with clinical conditions caused or worsened by underlying unrecognized GHD.

Keywords: Pituitary, growth hormone, hypopituitarism, personalized medicine, metabolic syndrome, infertility.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 29 September, 2020
Page: [1406 - 1412]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1871530320666200929141847
Price: $65

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