Growth Hormone Stimulation Test
(GH Stimulation Test)

Alternate Names

  • GH Provocation Test
  • Insulin Tolerance Test (ITT)
  • Arginine Test

Growth Hormone is released by the pituitary gland and normal levels are necessary for growth and development. When levels are inadequate, growth will be delayed which results in short stature (dwarfism) and delayed puberty. When levels are too high, growth will be increased which results in higher than normal stature (gigantism) and precocious puberty. If growth hormone levels are too high following the end of puberty, bones will become very thick (acromegaly) but there will be no increase in height. Random blood samples are not very accurate, since growth hormone levels vary throughout the day. The medication arginine is given through an IV, followed by the administration of insulin to induce extremely low blood sugar. This combination is used to stimulate production of growth hormone, and is more specific to diagnosing deficiency. GH Stimulation Test is also used to diagnose pituitary deficiency.

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