Monday, August 3, 2009

Growth Hormone Stim Test

UPDATE: no dice. they couldn't find a vein that would last more than a few seconds. Poor girl got poked multiple times all for nothing. So now we have to reschedule for another day to have the procedure done at Levine Children's hospital. So not happy about that.

Tomorrow (tuesday, aug. 4th) Emma is having this test. I can't explain it well, so I'll copy and paste the medical definition


The growth hormone (GH) stimulation test measures the plasma level of human growth hormone (hGH) after the administration of the amino acid arginine and/or GH-releasing hormone. It measures the ability of the pituitary to secrete GH.

How the test is performed

An angiocatheter (IV) is usually placed in a vein, typically in the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band or blood pressure cuff is placed around the upper arm to cause the veins below the band to swell with blood.

A needle is inserted into the vein, and then removed while the angiocatheter is left in the vein. The band is then removed to restore circulation.

Your blood will be drawn 5 times. To prevent multiple punctures of the vein, samples will be taken through the IV line instead of repeatedly re-inserting the needle.

The first sample will be drawn between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., then an intravenous (IV) infusion of arginine is started and continued for 30 minutes. After the 30-minute infusion, GH-releasing hormone is administered intravenously and then four more blood samples are drawn at 30-minute intervals.

Why the test is performed

This test is typically performed to identify hGH deficiency as a cause of growth retardation.

Normal Values

A normal peak value is at least 10 ng/mL; 5-10 ng/mL is indeterminate; 5 ng/mL is subnormal. (A normal value rules out hGH deficiency; in some laboratories, the normal level is 7 ng/mL.)

Note: ng/mL = nanogram per milliliter.

So that was taken from "How stuff works" website. It was the least medical of all the explanations I could find. The reason Emma is having to have this test is her growth had stalled again. She is closely monitored by an endocrinologist and up until now she had been holding her own. Even though she was tiny, she was at least maintaining her own growth curve. After this last appointment her dr. said she was in the -2% for height. I didn't even know there were negative percents! Emma does know about the test and she gets more nervous as each day passes. She does like the attention and drama (no idea where she gets that from - LOL) but I think she truly is scared. It won't be a big deal I don't think once the IV is in place though. Her dr. did say she'd feel pretty yucky but could eat as soon as the test was over. I will send her with a packed lunch I think. Dave is taking her so I can keep the babies here, and also so she doesn't see me upset. I'm not sure why, but I think I'm having a harder time with this than warranted. But she's already been put through a lot at such a young age, I just wish it was all behind her.

Please, if you think of it, pray for Emma tomorrow. She will be there from 8-11 or 12. I'll post how she does once they get home.

1 comment:

La Nuit Étoilée said...

((hugs!)) waiting for an update...