Plasma IGFBP-3 and its relationship with quantitative growth hormone secretion in short children

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1993 Oct;39(4):427-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.1993.tb02389.x.


Objective: We assessed the relationship between serum IGFBP-3 levels with IGF-I and quantitative GH secretory status in poorly growing children.

Design: We studied the relationship between 24-hour integrated concentration of GH, peak GH to paired sequential stimulation tests, IGF-I and the IGFBP-3 serum levels.

Patients: One hundred and two children (82 males, 20 females, age 11.7 +/- 2.7 years) with short stature (height -2.6 +/- 0.7 SDS) were studied.

Measurements: Quantitative GH secretory status was assessed by the 24-hour integrated GH and by response to arginine and insulin stimulation. GH, IGFBP-3 and IGF-I were measured by radioimmunoassay. To adjust for age and gender, IGFBP-3 levels were converted to SD score.

Results: IGFBP-3 SDS was strongly correlated with IGF-I SDS (r = 0.64, P < 0.0001), and weakly with peak GH (r = 0.28, P < 0.0004), but not with the integrated GH concentration (r = 0.07, P < 0.46). IGFBP-3 SDS increased with pubertal maturation (P < 0.0001). There was no difference in mean IGFBP-3 SDS in subgroupings of the patients based on the results of their quantitative GH tests.

Conclusion: In short children, IGFBP-3 levels increase with puberty, are strongly correlated with IGF-I levels, weakly correlated with peak response to GH stimulation tests, but not correlated with integrated GH. Consequently, diagnostic classifications of patients based on quantitative measurements of GH secretion and IGFBP-3 differ.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carrier Proteins / blood*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / blood*
  • Growth Disorders / etiology
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis
  • Male
  • Puberty / blood
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone