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Growth hormone measurements in the diagnosis and monitoring of acromegaly.

Before the availability of immunoassays for IGF-I, growth hormone (GH) measurement was the sole method used in the biochemical assessment of acromegaly. IGF-I has since been established as the most reliable biochemical indicator of acromegaly. The last 25 years has seen important advances in the understanding of the neuroregulation and in the characterization of GH secretion in acromegaly. The availability of supersensitive GH has changed many aspects of the interpretation of GH-value in the management of acromegaly. Hypersecretion and abnormal neuroregulation characterize GH secretion in acromegaly. GH can be measured in many ways: as a single random sample, as multiple samples, either spontaneously or as an integral part of a dynamic test. These approaches give useful information on diagnosis, therapy, and prognosis. There is a place for measuring GH in the management of acromegaly although it complements that of IGF-I.

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