Evaluation of growth hormone release in children using arginine and L-dopa in combination

J Pediatr. 1975 Oct;87(4):540-4. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(75)80816-x.


L-Dopa in a dose ranging from 125-500 mg and arginine monochloride in a dose of 0.5 gm/kg were given simultaneously to 56 children with short stature (height less than third percentile). Sixteen of these children were subsequently diagnosed as having growth hormone deficiency. The diagnosis of hyposomatotropism was based on clinical findings and on responses to the combination test and to arginine and L-dopa administered as separate tests. All of the remaining 40 children had a normal GH response of greater than 6 ng/ml to the combination test. However, in this group, nine children were identified who responded to the combination test but who failed to respond to arginine and L-dopa in individual tests. The data suggest that a positive response to arginine and L-dopa in combination in children, who do not respond to the usual provocative tests when administered individually, may fail to identify children with partial GH deficiency who would benefit from treatment. The integrated stimulated GH response in the 31 children in whom a normal GH response to all three tests occurred suggests that the effects of L-dopa and arginine are additive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arginine*
  • Body Height
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Interactions
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / diagnosis
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Levodopa*
  • Male


  • Levodopa
  • Growth Hormone
  • Arginine