The growth hormone test measures the amount of growth hormone in the blood.
A blood sample is needed.
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. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.
Growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland. This is a small organ in the brain, located behind the nose.
The growth hormone test may be used to monitor response to acromegaly treatment.
The normal range for growth hormone level is typically:
GH is released in pulses. This is why random GH measurements are rarely useful. 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. GH is most useful when measured as part of a stimulation or suppression test.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different specimens. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
A high level of growth hormone may indicate:
A low level 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:
Guber HA, Farag AF. Evaluation of endocrine function. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 24.
Hosono H, Cohen P. Hyperpituitarism, tall stature, and overgrowth syndromes. In: Klliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW III, et al., eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 554.
Updated by: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial Team.
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