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Growth Hormone (GH), Serum

Blood growth hormone measurement is used to diagnose acromegaly and evaluate the efficacy of treatment for the disease as well as to diagnose growth hormone deficiency (in combination with challenge tests).

Growth hormone (GH) is a polypeptide hormone of the anterior pituitary gland necessary for body growth. Growth hormone synthesis and release are controlled by the hypothalamus via the Growth Hormone-Releasing Factor (GHRF) and Growth Hormone Release-Inhibiting Hormone (GHRIH). Decreased GH secretion causes dwarfism in children while excessive secretion causes gigantism in children or acromegaly in adults.

Growth hormone promotes RNA production and protein synthesis and mobilizes fatty acids and insulin. It is affected by various drugs as well as by exercise and stress.

Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
  • Increase: Acromegaly, anorexia nervosa, states of deep sleep, diabetes mellitus in adolescence, gigantism, hypoglycemia, hyperpituitarism, hunger, surgery. Medications: arginine, beta-adrenergic blockers, estrogens, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) (can raise levels up to 40 ng/mL), gamma-butyryl-lactone (GBL), glucagon, levodopa, oral contraceptives. Herbs and natural remedies include hypericum  (Hypericum perforatum, calycinum, and persortum).
  • Decrease: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic atrophic gastritis, congenital growth hormone deficiency, congenital pituitary hypoplasia, dwarfism, growth hormone deficiency, Hallermann-Streiff's syndrome, hyperglycemia, hypothalamic degeneration, hypopituitarism, pituitary or hypothalamic lesions, fibrosis, or calcification of the pituitary gland. Medications: corticosteroids, phenothiazines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Atmospheric pollutants.



Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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