Efficacy of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 in predicting the growth hormone response to provocative testing in children treated with cranial irradiation

C. Sklar, K. Sarafoglou, E. Whittam

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Abstract

Recent data suggest that the plasma concentration of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) is useful as a screening test for growth hormone (GH) deficiency. In this study, we measured by radioimmunoassay the levels of IGFBP-3 in a group of 20 subjects (12 males) of 5 years and 7 months to 16 years of age undergoing standard GH testing following cranial irradiation. The patients had received 1800 to > 6000 cGy of radiation to the hypothalamic-pituitary region, a median of 2.7 years (range 2-7 years) prior to testing. The IGFBP-3 concentrations were discordant with the results of GH testing 60% (12/20) of the time. Although IGFBP-3 levels were below the mean for age in 14 of 15 GH-deficient (peak GH < 10 μg/l) patients, only three of 15 GH-deficient patients had IGFBP-3 concentrations that fell below age-adjusted norms. In contrast, the IGFBP-3 levels were within the normal range in all five patients with normal GH responses. The low sensitivity (20%) of IGFBP-3 in predicting the subjects with abnormal responses was not improved by adjusting the values for bone age or stage of puberty. We conclude that a single plasma determination of IGFBP-3 is not a useful screening test for GH deficiency among patients previously treated with cranial irradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-515
Number of pages5
JournalActa Endocrinologica
Volume129
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993

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