Oral glucose-stimulated growth hormone (GH) test in adult GH deficiency patients and controls: Potential utility of a novel test


      • Oral glucose initially decreases and subsequently stimulates GH secretion.
      • After oral glucose the best peak GH cut-point for the diagnosis of adult GH deficiency was 1.0 μg/L.
      • The oral glucose test could be a cheap, safe, convenient and effective test for the diagnosis of adult GH deficiency.



      The diagnosis of adult GH deficiency requires confirmation with a GH stimulation test. Oral glucose (OG) administration affects GH secretion, initially decreasing and subsequently stimulating GH secretion.


      The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic efficacy and safety of a long OG test (LOGT) as a stimulus of GH secretion for the diagnosis of adult GH deficiency (AGHD).


      Prospective experimental cross-sectional study.


      The study was conducted at the Endocrinology department of the University Hospital of a Coruña, Spain.

      Participants and methods

      We included 60 (40 women) AGHD patients (15) and controls (45) paired 1:3, of similar age, sex and BMI. The area under the curve (AUC) and peak were calculated for GH. The Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the different groups. ROC curve analyses were used. p-Values < 0.05 were considered as statistically significant.


      The intervention consisted of orally administering 75 g oral glucose administration; GH was obtained every 30 min for a total of 300 min.

      Main outcome measurement

      Peak GH area under receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC-AUC) following LOGT.


      Peak GH (μg/L) levels were lower in the AGHD patients (0.26 ± 0.09) than in the controls (4.00 ± 0.45), p < 0.001. After LOGT, with the ROC plot analysis the best peak GH cut-point was 1.0 μg/L, with 100% sensitivity, 78% specificity, ROC-AUC of 0.9089 and 81.82% accuracy. There were no relevant adverse events during any of the LOGT.


      The LOGT could be a cheap, safe, convenient and effective test for the diagnosis of AGHD.


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