Improvement of diagnostic criteria in growth hormone insensitivity syndrome: solutions and pitfalls. Pharmacia Study Group on Insulin-like Growth Factor I Treatment in Growth Hormone Insensitivity Syndromes

W F Blum, A M Cotterill, M C Postel-Vinay, M B Ranke, M O Savage, P Wilton
Acta Paediatrica. Supplement 1994, 399: 117-24
A survey to identify children and adolescents with primary growth hormone insensitivity syndrome (GHIS) yielded 38 patients who were positively identified using a scoring system that included five criteria: height, basal growth hormone (GH), GH binding protein, basal insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and the increase of IGF-I after 4 days of GH administration (IGF generation test). Because of an overlap of the accepted and excluded groups with respect to points scored, an attempt was made to improve the scoring system. The new criteria were: height below -3 SDS, basal GH 4 mU/l or above, GH binding below 10%, basal IGF-I and basal IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) below the 0.1 centile for age, an increase of IGF-I in the IGF generation test less than 15 micrograms/l, and the increase of IGFBP-3 less than 0.4 mg/l. With this scoring system, a clear separation between the accepted and the excluded groups was obtained. IGFBP-3 was included to give the GH-dependent parameters of the IGF system more weight and because the accuracy of IGFBP-3 in the IGF generation tests was greater than the accuracy of IGF-I, when the group of patients with GHIS was compared with a group of patients with GH deficiency. Unexpectedly, the IGF generation test was unable to segregate both cohorts completely. In the GHIS-positive group, a significant correlation was found between basal IGF-I or IGFBP-3 levels corrected for age (SDS) and height SDS (r = 0.49, p < 0.002 and r = 0.61, p < 0.0001, respectively). There was also a significant correlation between the changes of IGF-I or IGFBP-3 in the IGF generation test and height SDS. That is, the patients with a slight response to GH were those with the least growth retardation, suggesting the existence of partial GH insensitivity.

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