Endogenous GH secretion was measured every 20 min for 24 h in 36 short children. This was immediately followed by an i.v. injection of GH-releasing hormone (GHRH)(1–29)-NH2 (1 μg/kg), and GH was estimated every 15 min for the following 2 h. The aim was to determine whether endogenous pulsatile GH secretion had any relation to, or influence on, the GH release induced by GHRH. A high variability was found both in the 24-h GH secretion expressed as area under the curve above the baseline (0–1588 mU/l × 24 h) and the maximal GH response to GHRH (5–296 mU/l), as well as after an arginine–insulin tolerance test (4–59 mU/l). We found a positive correlation (correlation coefficient of Spearman (r s) = 0·49; P < 0·01) between the GH response to GHRH and the spontaneous GH secretion over a 24-h period, in spite of a negative correlation (r s = −0·80; P < 0·01) with the GH secretion during the preceeding 3 h. We conclude that the GH response to a GHRH test correlates with endogenous GH secretion in short children, and may be helpful in estimating the ability to release GH. It is important, however, to be aware of the influence of the spontaneous GH secretion during the 3 h immediately preceeding administration of GHRH.
Journal of Endocrinology (1989) 122, 61–68