Growth Hormone

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Also known as: GH; Human Growth Hormone (HGH); Somatotropin
Formal name: Growth Hormone
Related tests: IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor-1; also called Somatomedin C); GHRH (Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone); Glucose Tolerance Test; Cortisol; ACTH; TSH; Glucose; Prolactin

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To identify diseases and conditions caused by either a deficiency or overproduction of growth hormone (GH), to evaluate pituitary function, and to monitor the effectiveness of GH treatment

When to Get Tested?

As part of an evaluation of pituitary function. Slow growth in stature, delayed development (in children), decreased bone density and/or muscle strength, and increased lipids (in adults) all could be related to insufficient GH production. Symptoms suggestive of gigantism in children or acromegaly in adults may be a result of excess GH production

Sample Required?

Usually several blood samples are taken at timed intervals from veins in your arm. Sometimes a single sample of blood is required following a fast or after a period of strenuous exercise

Test Preparation Needed?

In healthy adults, GH levels remain stable, but rise sharply 3-4 hours after a meal and within 60 minutes after the onset of sleep. One sample should therefore be taken fasting.