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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 59

of 'Diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency in children'

Measurement of human growth hormone by immunoassays: current status, unsolved problems and clinical consequences.
Bidlingmaier M, Freda PU
Growth Horm IGF Res. 2010;20(1):19. Epub 2009 Oct 8.
Measuring the concentration of growth hormone (GH) in blood samples taken during dynamic tests represents the basis for diagnosis of growth hormone related disorders, namely growth hormone deficiency and growth hormone excess. Today, a wide spectrum of immunoassays are in use, enabling rapid and sensitive determination of growth hormone concentrations in routine diagnostics. From a clinical point of view several difficulties exist with the use and interpretation of GH assay results in the assessment of GH related disorders: Many physiological factors such as fat mass, age and gender influence the outcome of dynamic tests, overall leading to significant inter-individual differences in GH responses. However, in addition to the physiological variability, considerable variability exists in GH assay results obtained by different immunoassays. Unfortunately, all the new technical advances in the field of GH measurement techniques have not reduced this methodological variability. To a large extent, the actual values reported for the GH concentration in a sample depend on the method used by the respective laboratory. Obviously, such discrepancies limit the applicability of consensus guidelines on diagnosis and treatment in clinical practice. This review summarizes current practices for GH measurement with respect to the methods used, their limitations and the clinical consequences of the existing heterogeneity in GH immunoassay results.
Endocrine Research Laboratories, Medizinische Klinik - Innenstadt, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany. martin.bidlingmaier@med.uni-muenchen.de