In a child, puberty encompasses a series of events which include the completion of growth and the maturing of the reproductive system. One of the common hormonal links between these two processes is growth hormone (GH) and, although it has been known for some time that the reproductive axis influences GH secretion and growth, increasing interest is developing in the alternative possibility of GH modifying reproductive processes.
In the normal child, there is an increase in GH secretion from mid-childhood with a shift in periodicity and an increase in pulse amplitude (Hindmarsh, Mathews & Brook, 1988). The two- to threefold rise in GH secretion during puberty is a product of the increase in pulse amplitude over the prepubertal value (Martha, Rogol, Veldhuis et al. 1989; Delemarre-van de Waal, Wennink & Odink, 1991). GH pulse amplitude is increased during early puberty in girls and at a later stage in boys, corresponding