Growth hormone (GH) is a hormone that is essential for normal growth and development in children. It promotes proper linear bone growth from birth through puberty. In children and adults, growth hormone helps regulate the production of red blood cells and muscle mass, the rate at which the body produces energy from food (metabolism), and the rate at which the body makes lipids, proteins, and glucose (sugar).
Stimulation testing may be ordered for an adult when there are signs and symptoms of GHD and/or hypopituitarism, such as:
- Decreased bone density
- Adverse lipid changes, such as high cholesterol
- Reduced exercise tolerance
GH stimulation testing is ordered for a child when there are signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency (GHD), such as:
- A growth rate that slows down in early childhood
- Shorter stature than other children of the same chronological age
- Delayed puberty
- Delayed bone development (as seen in X-rays)
Other hormone testing, such as thyroid testing, is typically done first to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms. GH deficiency is rare in children and adults. It is possible in adults if GH deficiency was diagnosed in childhood or there is a history of hypothalamic or pituitary disease.
Fasting Required: Sometimes, fasting is required.
CPT Code: 83003
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