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May 1984

Growth Hormone Secretion in Prepubertal Children With Major DepressionIL Sleep-Related Plasma Concentrations During a Depressive Episode

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Child Psychiatry (Drs Puig-Antich and Chambers and Ms Tabrizi) and the Sleep/Neuroendocrine Unit, New York State Psychiatric Institute (Drs Puig-Antich, Goetz, and Sachar, Mss Fein and Hanlon, and Mr Davies), the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York (Drs Puig-Antich, Goetz, Chambers, and Sachar), and the Institute of Chronobiology, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (Westchester Division), White Plains, NY (Dr Weitzman).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(5):463-466. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790160049005

Plasma growth hormone (GH) concentrations were determined every 20 minutes during sleep in 71 prepubertal children: 22 had endogenous major depressive disorder, 20 had nonendogenous major depressive disorder, 21 had nondepressed neurotic disorders, and eight were normal. Both depressive groups secreted significantly more GH during sleep than did controls. Measures included maximal GH plasma peak and area under the curve (AUC) during the total sleep period, during the first three hours after sleep onset, and during the first five hours after sleep onset. An AUC cutoff of 2,000 ngx min/mL Identified positively half the prepubertal children with major depression; with a specificity of 78% (v neurotics) and 100% (v normal children). Increased GH secretion during sleep may be a marker of illness, a past episode, or trait for prepubertal major depression regardless of endogenicity.