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Growth Hormone

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Also known as: GH; Human Growth Hormone; HGH; Somatotropin; Growth Hormone Stimulation Test; Growth Hormone Suppression Test
Formal name: Growth Hormone
Related tests: IGF-1; Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone; Cortisol; ACTH; Free T4; TSH; Glucose Tests; Prolactin; IGF BP-3

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At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To help diagnose growth hormone (GH) deficiency or, less commonly, growth hormone excess; to evaluate pituitary function; to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for excess production of GH

When to Get Tested?

When a child has slow growth, short stature, and delayed development or sometimes when an adult has decreased bone density and/or muscle strength and elevated blood lipid levels that could be related to insufficient GH production; when a child or adult has signs and symptoms suggestive of GH excess, which can cause two rare conditions, gigantism and acromegaly, respectively; when a pituitary disorder is suspected and other pituitary hormone levels are abnormal

Sample Required?

Usually several blood samples, drawn at timed intervals from veins in your arms; sometimes a single sample of blood, drawn following a fast and rest, after a period of strenuous exercise, or after ingesting a glucose (sugar) solution

Test Preparation Needed?

Follow any instructions you are given, such as to fast, in order to prepare for this test.