The normal ranges for GH responses to GHreleasing hormone (GHRH) have previously been defined for adult men and women. To determine whether the GHRH responses of normal children differ from those of adults and whether children with GH deficiency (GHD) and children who are growing below the first percentile but are otherwise normal (ISS) have GH responses comparable to those of normal children, we studied 90 normal children, 46 girls and 44 boys, with heights between the 10th and 95th percentiles for age, at different pubertal stages. Their responses were compared to those of 24 children with ISS and 32 children with GHD and to values previously measured in young adult men and women. Girls were grouped by Tanner breast stages and boys by testicular volumes. Plasma somatomedin-C, estradiol or testosterone, and bone age were measured in all children. All received a 1 μg/kg iv bolus dose of GHRH-(1-44)NH2, and GH responses were measured during a 2-h sampling period. Incremental serum GH responses in girls did not change throughout pubertal development and were similar to those of adult women. The responses in boys at midpuberty were somewhat lower (P < 0.05) than those in either prepubertal boys or adult men. ISS children had mean GH responses [23 ± 4 (±SE) ng/ml] similar to those of normal children. GHD children had significantly lower mean GH responses (11 ± 3.7 ng/ml) than normal prepubertal children (35 ± 4.0 ng/ml; P < 0.01), but the responses of 17 of the 32 GHD children overlapped with the normal range. GH responses to GHRH were not correlated with bone age, weight, height, SmC levels, or estradiol or testosterone concentrations. These results indicate that GH responses to GHRH testing are relatively constant throughout puberty and young adulthood, that ISS children respond normally to GHRH, and that the GHRH test is not a reliable discriminator between individual normal and GHD children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical