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Growth Hormone Deficiency

Definition of Growth Hormone Deficiency

Article updated and reviewed by Hubert Chen, MD, Associate Director of Medical Sciences, Amgen Inc. and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine University of California, San Francisco on April 18, 2005.

Growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain and plays an important role in the regulation of growth in children and overall metabolism in adults. The Growth hormone side effects are mediated almost exclusively by another molecule called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which is produced primarily in the liver. Growth hormone (GH) deficiency refers to inadequate levels of GH (and therefore IGF-1), resulting in growth retardation in children and metabolic disturbances in adults.

Description of Growth Hormone Deficiency

Cheap Growth Hormone deficiency can occur as an isolated deficiency or in combination with other pituitary hormones. In the latter case, the condition is termed hypopituitarism, and one or more of the following hormones may be deficient: corticotropin (ACTH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), growth hormone (GH), or prolactin. When Growth hormone deficiency is diagnosed, it is critical to make sure that the other pituitary hormones are functioning properly.

Causes and Risk Factors of Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone deficiency, whether alone or in association with other abnormalities, is hereditary in about 10 percent of all cases.
Congenital hypopituitarism, a rare form of GH deficiency, may be genetic and frequently is fatal if not diagnosed in the neonatal period.
Secondary GH deficiency can occur due to central nervous system tumors, trauma, surgery involving the hypothalamus or pituitary gland in the brain, or radiation.
Idiopathic order Growth Hormone deficiency (of unknown cause) accounts for most cases.

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