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How is growth hormone deficiency diagnosed?

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As a rule, the procedure begins with a physical examination. It can greatly help a doctor to estimate the presence of potential characteristics of a stunted height.

A doctor should check weight proportion along with height and body structure. It is particularly significant when examining a kid or a teenager, who has this symptom.

Usually, children with this symptom don’t follow all tempos of height development – in most cases a kid is considerably shorter in comparison with kids of the same age.

Nevertheless, apart from the aforementioned examination, there come other various methods and ways of detection used for the needed diagnosis.






Here are some of them:

1. Blood tests

  • connection with peptide (IGF and IGFBP-3) to understand, whether the issue is caused by hypophysis or something else;
  • measurement of this particular hormone level (somatotropin) in a blood;
  • tests for measuring other hormones produced by hypophysis;
  • measurement of GHRH arginine;
  • tolerance test for insulin;

2. Other researches

Additionally to all the aforementioned tests, a doctor has a right to prescribe some additional necessary exams that assist diagnosing:

  • dual-energetic X-ray absorptiometry – this kind of X-ray determines how thick and solid a body tissue is;
  • – brain MRI;
  • hands X-ray (usually left one) can also help to determine bones: their shape and size change while people grow. A doctor 100% see anomalies due to X-ray;
  • – head X-ray helps to see some issues connected with growth of skull bones;

When is growth hormone deficiency diagnosed?

Growth hormone deficiency can be diagnosed any time, since it can be inborn and acquired. Therefore, it leads to a fact that both children and adults can have it. But what are the grounds for receiving it?

Growth hormone deficiency children diagnosis

Kids, who have growth hormone deficiency are different in line with the height and reduced for their age speed of growing. Very often it is an isolated somatotropin deficiency and its reason is damage of hypothalamus. A simple detection of growth hormone concentration in a serosity is not conclusive, that’s why special stimulation tests are needed. Somatotropin deficiency should be noticed when a height is 2-2.5 cm lower compared to common standards, lag in bone age, growing speed is less than 25 percentile, and if expected final height is considerably lower than an average parent’s height.

Growth hormone deficiency adults diagnosis

Speaking about adults, in 90% of cases, a reason for growth hormone deficiency is an organic damage of a pituitary gland with adenoid tumor. Also, it can be after a surgical service or radiotherapy of large hypophysis lumps. When the deficiency of pituitary gland hormones is big, then in most cases it is somehow connected with growth hormone. According to special criteria, a normal level of a somatotropin when doing stimulations tests should be not more than 5 microgram per liter (radioimmunoassay method), and 2,5 microgram per liter (immuno-chemiluminescence method).

Conclusion: important notes

Tumors in a pituitary gland are one of the most wide-spread reasons of growth hormone production. Yet, sometimes they are connected with its deficiency. Tumors can influence not only on production of somatotropin, but also on production of other pituitary gland hormones. When a tumor grows, it is capable of reducing a production of any hormones and damaging all tissues.

When a final reason of abnormal somatotropin level is known, it is usually possible to correct and improve. To treat children, a special synthetic growth hormone is used, compared to adults it is almost never used.

To have a successful treatment, it is really important to detect anomalies of a growth hormone as quickly as it is only possible. If not treated, it leads to a short height, diabetes, high blood pressure, problems with eyesight, etc.