JOURNAL ARTICLE

The metoclopramide test: a useful tool with the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone test in distinguishing between constitutional delay of puberty and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism

R Lanes, A Palacios, E Avendano, G Moncada, G Chique
Fertility and Sterility 1989, 52 (1): 55-9
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To evaluate the effectiveness of intravenous metoclopramide, alone or in combination with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH), in distinguishing between constitutional delay of puberty and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, 12 patients with constitutional delay of puberty and 10 patients with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism were studied. All patients received 10 mg/m2 of intravenous metoclopramide and 100 micrograms of intravenous LH-RH on separate days. The mean prolactin (PRL) response following metoclopramide was significantly higher in the constitutional delay of puberty group when compared with the hypogonadotropic hypogonadism patients (P less than 0.01 at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes); all patients with constitutional delay of puberty increased their PRL level to greater than or equal to 60 ng/ml, except one who had a peak PRL level of 38 ng/ml. While only 2 of the hypogonadotropic hypogonadism subjects reached a peak PRL concentration of greater than or equal to 60 ng/ml, 4 had peak PRL levels greater than 38 ng/ml. The mean LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) responses after LH-RH were significantly higher in the constitutional delay of puberty group (P less than 0.01 at 30, 45, and 60 minutes for LH and P less than 0.01 at 45 and 60 minutes for FSH). All constitutional delay of puberty subjects responded to both the metoclopramide and LH-RH tests, while patients with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism responded only to one or to neither of these tests. Therefore, while metoclopramide alone did not allow us to clearly distinguish constitutional delay of puberty from hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, the combined use of both of these stimuli permitted us to detect all subjects with constitutional delay of puberty.

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