Evaluation and treatment of adult growth hormone deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jun;96(6):1587-609. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-0179.


Objective: The aim was to update The Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline on Evaluation and Treatment of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) previously published in 2006.

Consensus process: Consensus was guided by systematic reviews of evidence and discussions through a series of conference calls and e-mails. An initial draft was prepared by the Task Force, with the help of a medical writer, and reviewed and commented on by members of The Endocrine Society. A second draft was reviewed and approved by The Endocrine Society Council. At each stage of review, the Task Force received written comments and incorporated substantive changes.

Conclusions: GHD can persist from childhood or be newly acquired. Confirmation through stimulation testing is usually required unless there is a proven genetic/structural lesion persistent from childhood. GH therapy offers benefits in body composition, exercise capacity, skeletal integrity, and quality of life measures and is most likely to benefit those patients who have more severe GHD. The risks associated with GH treatment are low. GH dosing regimens should be individualized. The final decision to treat adults with GHD requires thoughtful clinical judgment with a careful evaluation of the benefits and risks specific to the individual.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / diagnosis*
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / therapy*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy*
  • Human Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans


  • Human Growth Hormone