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Diagnostic Usefulness of Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 and Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 in Children with Suspected Pituitary Dwarfism by Beata Zelazowska-Rutkowska, Marta Trusiak, Artur Bossowski, Bogdan Cylwik

Background: Pituitary dwarfism (also known as short stature) is a medical condition in which the pituitary gland does not produce enough growth hormone (GH). To confirm the diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency the overnight profile of GH secretion and GH provocative tests are usually performed; however, due to wide GH fluctuations throughout the day and night and the invasiveness of stimulation tests, their clinical utility is limited. Therefore, screening for IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) and IGFBP-3 (insulin-like growth factor binding protein type 3) is proposed, suggesting that these tests provide a more accurate reflection of the mean plasma GH level, although the results of these tests are still problematic. In this context, the aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic usefulness of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in children with suspected pituitary dwarfism.
Methods: Studies were carried out in 127 children with abnormal growth and low spontaneous 24-hour plasma GH profiles and abnormal results of GH stimulation tests. Fasting serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were determined by chemiluminescent quantitative measurement using the IMMULITE 1000 IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 kits (Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, United Kingdom) on the IMMULITE 1000 analyzer (Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, USA). Results were compared to the normal range by children’s age.
Results: Mean serum IGF-1 concentrations were within the lower normal range (41.7% cases), and 58.3% results were below the normal reference range in the study group. The average serum IGFBP-3 levels were within the lower normal range.
Conclusions: We conclude that IGF-1 test can be a useful tool in the diagnosis of pituitary dwarfism in children suspected of this condition, but due to relatively poor sensitivity the testing cannot be performed alone, but in combination with other tests. The IGFBP-3 test is not useful for the diagnosis of this disease.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2018.171126