Growth hormone response in very short children

K. Palayew, P. Crock, P. Pianosi, A. Coates, G. Weitzner, A. Schiffrin

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3 Scopus citations


Growth hormone (GH) response to standardized exercise, L-DOPA/propranolol and a 6-h diurnal GH profile (GHP) were evaluated in twenty-three children with very short stature and abnormal growth velocities. Standardized exercise (Jones Stage I) was performed on a cycle ergometer at 53% of the maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) for 20 min. VO2max was determined by an incremental progressive workload until exhaustion. The mean + SEM peak GH concentration (ng/ml) for each test was: exercise, 8.7 ± 1.3; L-DOPA/P: 12.8 ± 1.9 and GHP: 3 ± 0.7. There was no statistical difference between exercise and L-DOPA/P peaks but both peaks were significantly higher than the peak observed during the profile. During exercise 14 of 23 patients had a GH response >8 ng/ml. Two patients were found to be GH deficient. Therefore 16 of 23 patients (86%) had a result concordant with their final diagnosis. During the L-DOPA/P test 17 of 23 patients had a GH response >8 ng/ml. By contrast only 6 of 23 patients had a positive response during GHP. Standardized exercise is as effective as L-DOPA/P as a stimulation test for growth hormone response in very short children with abnormal growth velocities. Exercise has the advantages of being physiological, having minimal side effects, and requiring fewer blood samples. In this population of children, exercise and L-DOPA/propranolol are significantly better than the 6-h growth hormone profile for assessing GH secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-337
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Investigative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • exercise
  • growth hormone
  • short stature


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