Growth hormone suppression test - Patient information sheet

Growth hormone suppression test

Your doctor has referred you to have a growth hormone suppression test, which is performed over a two and half hour period. This is to establish whether your pituitary gland is producing too much growth hormone.

During the test blood samples will be taken at half hourly intervals and to allow this to happen easily, with the minimum of discomfort for you, we will be inserting a small tube (a cannula) into a vein in your arm at the start of the test. Baseline samples of blood to measure glucose (sugar) levels and growth hormone levels are taken. Following a 10-15 minute rest further samples of blood are taken and then you will be given a drink of chilled glucose solution, which you will be asked to drink within ten minutes. You will be resting on a reclining chair in the unit for the duration of the test.

Please come fasting, i.e. nothing to eat or drink from midnight except sips of water, and please avoid smoking on the day of the test. You can take all your normal medications as usual, but please bring them with you for us to document. You will be offered a drink and something to eat at the end of the test.

If you have diabetes please let us know before you attend for this test.

You should expect your stay at the hospital to last about three and half hours. You may wish to bring a book or magazine to read. We do have a radio, or you can access Patientline; alternatively you may like to bring your own personal radio/cd player (please bring your own headphones). You may bring someone to stay with you during the test but there is not enough space for more than one person.

Children are discouraged, as this can be disruptive to other patients. However, if this poses a particular problem for you please discuss this with the senior nurse in the unit. You should be able to undertake normal activities after the test is finished and it should not interfere with your ability to drive home.

If you have any queries about the test, please contact