The relationship between serum GH and serum IGF-I in acromegaly is gender-specific

C. Parkinson, W. D J Ryder, P. J. Trainer

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    In patients with acromegaly, there is a linear association between log10 serum GH and IGF-I. Healthy females secrete three times more GH than males but have broadly similar serum IGF-I levels, and in adult GH deficiency, the dose of exogenous GH required to achieve a given serum IGF-I is significantly greater in females than males. We report the influence of gender on the relationship between serum GH and IGF-I in subjects with active acromegaly. A single, fasted, serum sample was obtained from 153 subjects with active disease (87 males; median age, 47.8 yr; range, 20-82 yr) in whom serum IGF-I was at least 30% above the upper limit of an age-related reference range after washout from medical therapy. A linear correlation between serum IGF-I and log10 serum GH was observed (r = 0.53; P <0.0001), but this relationship was significantly influenced by gender. For a given serum GH value, females were estimated to have serum IGF-I values 82 ng/ml less than males [P <0.02; 95% confidence interval (CI), 15.2-149]. In females receiving oral E, mean serum IGF-I for a given GH value was 130 ng/ml lower than in males (P = 0.01; 95% CI, 29.8-230.2) but only 60 ng/ml less than the remaining 45 females (NS; P = 0.2). This study demonstrates a gender difference in the relationship between serum GH and IGF-I in patients with active acromegaly consistent with relative GH resistance observed in normal and GHD females, which may, in part, be mediated by E. This observation has important implications for the use of IGF-I as a measure of disease activity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5240-5244
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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