Glucagon stimulation testing in adult growth hormone deficiency-A 2014 update

Kevin C.J. Yuen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a well-recognized clinical syndrome in adults, and its diagnosis is established through one or more GH stimulation tests. The decision to perform GH stimulation testing should be based on medical history and clinical findings, and using appropriate GH stimulation test/s for biochemical confirmation. The insulin tolerance test (ITT) remains the diagnostic test of choice; however, this test is labor intensive, contraindicated in the elderly and in adults with seizure disorders and ischemic heart disease, can be unpleasant for the patient, and is potentially hazardous. With the discontinuation of the growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) analog (Geref®) in the US in 2008, the glucagon stimulation test (GST) has gained increasing popularity as the alternative test to the ITT because of its availability, reproducibility, safety, lack of influence by gender and hypothalamic cause of GH deficiency (GHD), and relatively few contraindications. In this article, recommendations for performing this test, the potential drawbacks in conducting and caveats in interpreting this test, and its future perspectives are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalUS Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Adult growth hormone deficiency
  • Diagnosis
  • Glucagon
  • Growth hormone
  • Growth hormone releasing hormone plus arginine
  • Insulin tolerance test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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