The growth hormone test measures the amount of growth hormone in the blood.
A blood sample is needed. For information on how this is done, see: Venipuncture
Your doctor may give you special instructions about what you can or cannot eat before the test.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Growth hormone is released from an area just below the brain called the anterior pituitary gland.
The growth hormone test may be used to monitor response to acromegaly treatment.
Different tests are used to diagnose growth problems:
The normal range for growth hormone levels is typically:
GH is released in pulses. A higher level may be normal if the blood was drawn during a pulse. A lower level may be normal if the blood was drawn around the end of a pulse.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
High levels of growth hormone may indicate:
Low levels of growth hormone may indicate:
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
Melmed S, Kleinberg D. Pituitary masses and tumors. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: chap 9.
Molitch ME. Anterior pituitary. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 231.
Hosono H, Cohen P. Hyperpituitarism, tall stature, and overgrowth syndromes. In: Klliegman RM, Stanton B, St. Geme J, Schor N, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 554.