Diagnosis of idiopathic growth hormone deficiency: contributions of data on the acid-labile subunit, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and-II, and IGF binding protein-3

Christine Trivin, Jean-Claude Souberbielle, Guillaume Aubertin, Ethel Lawson-Body, Luis Adan, Raja Brauner
Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism: JPEM 2006, 19 (4): 481-9

UNLABELLED: The diagnosis of non-organic growth hormone (GH) deficiency (GHD) remains difficult.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the value of measuring plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and -II, IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and acid-labile subunit (ALS) as criteria for diagnosing GHD.

PATIENTS: 120 prepubertal patients having at least one of the main auxological criteria defined by the GH Research Society for initiating GH exploration were classified as (1) certain GHD (n = 40), (2) transient GHD (n = 18), (3) idiopathic short stature (n = 27), or (4) extreme short stature (n = 35).

RESULTS: All the patients with certain GHD had low (< or = -2 z-score) plasma concentrations of IGF-I and ALS, but only 35.1% had low IGF-II, and 48.6% had low IGFBP-3. All the patients but three (83.3%) with transient GHD had low IGF-I, but only 44.4% had low ALS, and only one had low IGF-II or IGFBP-3. The data for patients with idiopathic and extreme short stature and normal GH peak were similar to each other and to those for patients with transient GHD, except that IGF-I was less frequently low (49.2%, p <0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: All the patients with certain GHD had both IGF-I and ALS z-scores < or = -2, unlike those with transient GHD, and idiopathic or extreme short stature. Almost all the patients with short stature and normal GH peak had normal serum IGF-II and IGFBP-3 concentrations.

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