IGF-I generation tests were developed over 20 yr ago and are currently used in differentiating GH insensitivity (GHI) from other disorders characterized by low serum IGF-I. Nevertheless, generation tests have never been adequately characterized, and insufficient normative data are available. One hundred and ninety-eight subjects [including normal subjects; subjects with GHI, GH deficiency (GHD), and idiopathic short stature (ISS); and heterozygotes for the E180 splice GH receptor mutation] were randomized to self-administration of either a high (0.05 mg/kg·d) or a low (0.025 mg/kg·d) dose of GH for 7 d. After a 2-wk washout period, they received the alternate dose. Samples were collected on d 1, 5, and 8 of each treatment period. In normal individuals, IGF-I generation was GH dependent at all ages, and little advantage was observed in using the higher dose of GH or extending beyond the d 5 sample. Some GHD patients had IGF-I levels, both baseline and stimulated, that overlapped levels in the verified GHI patients. Subjects heterozygous for the E180 GH receptor splice mutation did not show a decreased responsiveness to GH. ISS patients had low-normal IGF-I levels that did not stimulate beyond the baseline normative ranges for age. These data provide the first large scale effort to provide preliminary normative IGF generation data and evaluate the GH sensitivity of patients with GHI, GHD, and ISS.
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