July 1974

The Levodopa Test of Growth Hormone Reserve in Children-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of Chicago 5825 Maryland Ave Chicago, IL 60637

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(1):117. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110260119033

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To the Editor.—The optimal means by which to test for the role of deficient growth hormone (GH) production or action in growth disorders remains to be defined. This is attested to by the multiplicity of tests that are available, none of which is 100% reliable. Our practice is to screen subjects for "eusomatotrophism" by the accurate measurement of growth velocity. Blood tests can usually be avoided if the rate of linear growth is clearly normal (approximately 5 cm/yr). In the presence of an inexplicably subnormal or marginal growth rate, our feeling is that if one is to perform a single test on which any hopes or plans are to be based, it should be a reliable one. The Levodopa test has many useful characteristics in such a situation. Acclimatization to the drug can be performed at home, and the majority of responses to the drug occur within

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