The somatotropin test also aids in documenting the excess hGH production responsible for gigantism or acromegaly, and confirms underactivity or overproduction of the pituitary gland (hypopituitarism or hyperpituitarism, respectively).
This procedure, also called the glucose loading test, is performed to evaluate excessive baseline levels of hGH and to confirm diagnosis of gigantism in children (and acromegaly in adults).
Overproduction of hGH or IGH-I, or an exaggerated response to these hormones, can lead to gigantism or acromegaly, both of which are characterized by a very large stature.
In a child with excessive hGH levels, failure of suppression indicates anterior pituitary dysfunction and confirms a diagnosis of gigantism (or acromegaly).
Individuals with acromegaly or gigantism who have diabetes or diabetes-like symptoms should maintain a diet that helps normalize blood sugar levels.
In adults, this condition results in an enlargement of bones; in children, the abnormality results in excessive height and is called gigantism.
The most common cause of acromegaly and gigantism is the development of a noncancerous tumor within the pituitary, called a pituitary adenoma.
If such a tumor develops within the first ten years of life, the result is gigantism (in which growth is accelerated) and not acromegaly.
Onset of gigantism is usually at puberty, although some cases of toddlers and young children with gigantism have been reported.
Children and adolescents with gigantism show a characteristic lengthening and enlargement of bones, principally of the limbs.