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Is GH nadir during OGTT a reliable test for diagnosis of acromegaly in patients with abnormal glucose metabolism?

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The growth hormone (GH) nadir during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is the gold standard diagnostic test for acromegaly. The utility of OGTT-GH suppression test in patients with abnormal glucose metabolism (AGM) has not been well established. In this study, we compared the GH nadir during OGTT in patients evaluated for acromegaly in the presence and absence of AGM.


This is a retrospective cohort study of patients with acromegaly (G1, n = 40) and a group in whom acromegaly was not confirmed (G2, n = 53) who had OGTT-GH suppression test during 2000–2012, using a monoclonal GH immunoenzymatic assay. The patients were categorized as having normal glucose metabolism (NGM) or AGM. GH nadir during OGTT in each group were compared.


In G1 and G2, 17 and 19 patients had AGM, respectively. Among 17 patients with diabetes, median HbA1C was 7% (range 5.7–9.6%). All except one patient had HbA1C< 8%. There was no difference in the GH nadir in patients with or without AGM within G1 (p = 0.15) and G2 (p = 0.43). All G1 patients with AGM had GH nadir > 0.4 µg/L. Four G1 patients with NGM had GH nadir<0.4 µg/L. All G2 patients had GH nadir < 0.4 µg/L, except one with NGM and GH nadir of 0.4 µg/L.


Using highly sensitive GH assay, a GH nadir ≥ 0.4 µg/L during the OGTT-GH suppression test may be used for diagnosis of acromegaly in patients with AGM in the absence of poorly controlled diabetes.

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Correspondence to Georgiana Dobri.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Dobri, G., Niwattisaiwong, S., Bena, J.F. et al. Is GH nadir during OGTT a reliable test for diagnosis of acromegaly in patients with abnormal glucose metabolism?. Endocrine 64, 139–146 (2019).

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