Actual measurement of growth hormone (GH) levels in children suspected of having GH deficiency can confirm this diagnosis. However, there currently is no standard for the test. Although there is general agreement that in a short-statured child, a value of <10 μg/L in response to an appropriate provocative test indicates the possible need for GH replacement therapy, there is no agreement on the best testing method. Different immunoassay kits use different methods to measure serum levels and, therefore, produce different results. In this article, the evolution of assays and the reasons for disparities in results are reviewed and discussed. An immunofunctional assay using monoclonal antibodies as a new standard is described.

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