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Growth Hormone (GH)

Also known as:GH; Human Growth Hormone; HGH; Somatotropin
Formal name: Growth Hormone
Related tests: IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1, also called Somatomedin C); GHRH (Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone); Glucose Tolerance Test; Cortisol; ACTH; TSH; Glucose; Prolactin; IGF BP- 3 (Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3)

Why should I do it?
To identify diseases and conditions caused by either a deficiency or overproduction of growth hormone (GH), to evaluate pituitary function, and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for excess production of GH

When should I do it?
When slow growth in stature, delayed maturational development (in children), decreased bone density and/or muscle strength, and increased lipids (in adults) could be related to insufficient GH production; when a person has symptoms suggestive of gigantism (in children) or acromegaly (in adults) that may be a result of excess GH production; as part of an evaluation of pituitary function

What Kind of Sample is Needed?
Usually several blood samples, drawn at timed intervals from veins in your arm; sometimes a single sample of blood, drawn following a fast and rest or after a period of strenuous exercise

Test Preparation Needed?
Follow any instructions you are given, such as to fast, in order to prepare for this test.