Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the GH-releasing hormone (GH-RH)-induced response of GH in patients affected by hypothalamic amenorrhea. DESIGN: Patients affected by weight-loss-related hypothalamic amenorrhea (n = 28) were studied and compared with 20 healthy controls. Among patients with weight-loss amenorrhea, both hypogonadotropic and normogonadotropic conditions were present. All subjects underwent a GH-RH test (GEREF, Sereno, Rome, Italy) (1 microgram/kg body weight IV). Plasma GH concentrations were determined using commercially available RIAs. Also, in selected samples insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels were measured. RESULTS: Basal plasma IGF-I levels as well as body mass index (BMI) were lower in amenorrheic patients than in healthy controls. No significant correlation was found between BMI and IGF-I or E2 plasma levels or between LH and IGF-I plasma levels. The basal GH plasma levels were comparable in all groups of subjects. The GH-RH--induced GH response evaluated as maximal release and as area under the curve (AUC) was higher in amenorrheic patients than in control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: The amenorrheic condition associated with reduced BMI changes the GH-RH--induced GH response in hypothalamic amenorrhea, supporting a GH and a IGF-I disregulation in weight-loss--related amenorrhea.
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