Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 8, pp 732–737 | Cite as

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)

  • G. Federico
  • M. E. Street
  • M. Maghnie
  • M. Caruso-Nicoletti
  • S. Loche
  • S. Bertelloni
  • S. Cianfarani
  • Study Group on Physiopathology of growth processes
  • Council of ISPED
Original Articles


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 deficiency GH secretion IGF-I IGF-II IGF-binding protein-3 acid-labile subunit 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Federico
    • 1
  • M. E. Street
    • 2
  • M. Maghnie
    • 3
  • M. Caruso-Nicoletti
    • 4
  • S. Loche
    • 5
  • S. Bertelloni
    • 1
  • S. Cianfarani
    • 6
  • Study Group on Physiopathology of growth processes
  • Council of ISPED
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsAzienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Ospedali “S. Chiara”PisaItalia
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of ParmaParma
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsIRCCS Gaslini, University of GenovaGenova
  4. 4.Department of PediaticsUniversity of CataniaCatania
  5. 5.Division of Pediatric EndocrinologyOspedale Regionale per le MicrocitemieCagliari
  6. 6.Rina Balducci Center of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Public Health and Cell BiologyTor Vergata UniversityRomeItaly

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