Is retesting in growth hormone deficient children really useful?

Cristina Meazza, Chiara Gertosio, Sara Pagani, Alba Pilotta, Carmine Tinelli, Fabio Buzi, Giovanni Farello, Giulia Genoni, Gianni Bona, Mauro Bozzola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Patients with childhood-onset GH deficiency (GHD) are usually retested after achievement of near final height, to verify whether they need to continue GH treatment. We investigated if GH stimulation test is necessary to confirm a persistent status of GHD or if other parameters could be a reliable predictor of GHD persistence. METHODS: One-hundred and sixty-four children with idiopathic GHD (55 females and 109 males) were retested when they reached near final height using GH releasing hormone (GHRH)+arginine test or arginine alone. RESULTS: At diagnosis, 23.8% of patients showed severe GHD (GH peak at diagnosis <5 ng/mL) and 76.2% showed partial GHD (GH peak <10 ng/mL). At time of retesting, 82.1% of severe GHD and 82.4% of partial GHD patients showed transient GHD. IGF-I levels were not different between persistent (0.18±1.18 SDS) and transient GHD subjects (0.17±0.82 SDS). Furthermore, among persistent severe GHD patients only two showed very reduced levels of IGF-I (<-2.0 SDS). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of patients idiopathic GHD proved to be transient. IGF-I levels alone do not discriminate subjects with persistent from those with transient GHD. Therefore, after the end of GH substitutive treatment, a reevaluation of GH secretion is mandatory to verify the persistence of GHD in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
JournalMinerva Endocrinologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Child
  • Deficiency
  • Growth hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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