Growth Hormone Stimulation Test

Downloadable PDF version »

The Growth Hormone Stimulation Test is administered at the Edwin N. Forman Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Center, located on the first floor of Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

What is this test for?

The growth hormone stimulation test measures the growth hormone level in the blood after you receive medication that stimulates the release of growth hormone from your pituitary gland.

What do you need to do before the day of the test?

The night before the test, after bedtime, it is important to not eat or drink anything except water.

How is the test performed?

We will place an intravenous (IV) catheter, through which blood will be drawn during the test. First, blood will be drawn to establish baseline values. Then your child will be given a pill called L-Dopa. After the administration of this pill, a second medication called Arginine will be given through the IV catheter over 30 minutes. After the Arginine infusion, 4 more blood samples will be drawn every 30 minutes over a 2-hour period. Nausea, vomiting, headache, hypoglycemia, and drowsiness may occur. Your child will be closely monitored by the medical staff during the test. Once the test is completed, the IV catheter will be removed.

After the test:

Your child can have a snack after the test. We recommend taking it easy for the remainder of the day and resuming normal activity the following day. Growth hormone stimulation test results usually take 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will notify you of the test results. If you do not hear from your doctor within 2 weeks, please call the endocrinology office to discuss the results with your doctor.

If you have any questions or need to make an appointment, please call the pediatric endocrinology office at 401-444-5504.