Tenenbaum A et al. The intramuscular glucagon stimulation test does not provide good discrimination between normal and inadequate ACTH reserve when used in the investigation of short healthy children. Horm Res Paediatr. 2014. Epub 2014 Aug 13. PMID: 25139316.

Horm Res Paediatr. 2014;82(3):194-200. doi: 10.1159/000365190. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

The intramuscular glucagon stimulation test does not provide good discrimination between normal and inadequate ACTH reserve when used in the investigation of short healthy children.

Tenenbaum A(1), Phillip M, de Vries L.

Author information:
(1)The Jesse Z and Sara Lea Shafer Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes, National Center for Childhood Diabetes, Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel, Petah Tikva, Israel.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Few studies have addressed the role of the glucagon stimulation test (GST) in evaluating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in children. We investigated the diagnostic value of the GST in evaluating the adrenocortical response in short healthy children.

METHODS: The GST was performed in 190 children investigated for short stature. A peak cortisol >500 nmol/l was considered a normal response. In the 45 (23.7%) with subnormal response, a 250-μg ACTH test was done.

RESULTS: The rate of subnormal adrenal response to GST was higher among boys (33.9 vs. 8.9%, p < 0.001) and among children ≥6 years than among younger children (32.7 vs. 18.4%, p < 0.02). Both mean basal and peak cortisol levels were higher in girls than in boys: 381 ± 165 vs. 319 ± 151 nmol/l (p = 0.003) and 741 ± 102 vs. 595 ± 208 nmol/l (p < 0.001), respectively. Peak cortisol on GST was associated with basal cortisol (r = 0.45, p < 0.001) but not with glucose nadir (r = -0.31, p = 0.67), peak GH (r = 0.069, p = 0.33) or BMI-SDS (r = -0.08, p = 0.28). Peak cortisol was >500 nmol/l in all the patients undergoing an ACTH stimulation test.

CONCLUSIONS: Since adrenal response to GST is age- and gender-related and the false-positive rate is high, its routine performance in healthy children warrants reconsideration.

© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID: 25139316  [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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