Issued for the Endocrine Society by the Williams & Wilkins Co.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism vol:94 issue:2 pages:392-399
BACKGROUND: GH therapy in adult patients with GH deficiency (GHD) was approved over 10 yr ago, and the indication has subsequently gained broad acceptance. The HypoCCS surveillance database is a suitable means to examine the evolution of diagnostic patterns since 1996. METHODS: Baseline demographics, reported cause of GHD, and diagnostic tests were available from 5893 GH-treated patients. Trends for change over time in diagnosis, GH stimulation test data, and IGF-I measurements were analyzed at 2-yr intervals by linear regression models, with entry year as the predictive variable. RESULTS: Over the decade, there was a decrease in patients enrolled with diagnoses of pituitary adenoma (50.2 to 38.6%; P < 0.001), craniopharyngioma (13.3 to 8.4%; P = 0.005) and pituitary hemorrhage (5.8 to 2.8%; P = 0.001); increases in idiopathic GHD (13.9 to 19.3%; P < 0.001), less common diagnoses (7.4 to 15.8%; P < 0.001), and undefined/unknown diagnoses (1.3 to 8.6%; P < 0.001) were observed. Use of arginine, clonidine, and L-dopa tests declined, whereas use of the GHRH-arginine test increased. Median values for peak GH from all tests except GHRH-arginine and for IGF-I SD scores increased significantly (P < 0.001). Over the decade (1996--2005), idiopathic GHD was reported for 16.7% of patients, and more than half of these had adult onset GHD. In the idiopathic adult onset group, 40.2% had isolated GHD; 18.3 and 4.4% had a stimulation test GH peak of at least 3.0 and 5.0 microg/liter, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Significant shifts in diagnostic patterns have occurred since approval of the adult GHD indication, with a trend to less severe forms of GHD.