Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 732–737

Assessment of serum IGF-I concentrations in the diagnosis of isolated childhood-onset GH deficiency: A proposal of the Italian Society for Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes (SIEDP/ISPED)


    • Department of PediatricsAzienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Ospedali “S. Chiara”
  • M. E. Street
    • Department of PediatricsUniversity of Parma
  • M. Maghnie
    • Department of PediatricsIRCCS Gaslini, University of Genova
  • M. Caruso-Nicoletti
    • Department of PediaticsUniversity of Catania
  • S. Loche
    • Division of Pediatric EndocrinologyOspedale Regionale per le Microcitemie
  • S. Bertelloni
    • Department of PediatricsAzienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Ospedali “S. Chiara”
  • S. Cianfarani
    • Rina Balducci Center of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Public Health and Cell BiologyTor Vergata University
  • Study Group on Physiopathology of growth processes
  • Council of ISPED
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF03344184

Cite this article as:
Federico, G., Street, M.E., Maghnie, M. et al. J Endocrinol Invest (2006) 29: 732. doi:10.1007/BF03344184


The diagnosis of GH deficiency (GHD) is based on the measurement of peak GH responses to pharmacological stimuli. Pharmacological stimuli, however, lack precision, accuracy, are not reproducible, are invasive, non-physiological and some may even be hazardous. Furthermore, different GH commercial assays used to measure GH in serum yield results that may differ considerably. In contrast to GH, IGF-I can be measured on a single, randomly-obtained blood sample. A review of the available data indicates that IGF-I measurement in the diagnosis of childhood-onset isolated GHD has a specificity of up to 100%, with a sensitivity ranging from about 70 to 90%. We suggest an algorithm in which circulating levels of IGF-I together with the evaluation of auxological data, such as growth rate and growth, may be used to assess the likelihood of GHD in pre-pubertal children.


GH deficiencyGH secretionIGF-IIGF-IIIGF-binding protein-3acid-labile subunit

Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2006