Plasma growth hormone (GH) levels were measured during the first 2 hours of sleep without electroencephalogram monitoring and then after arginine infusion in 28 children investigated for short stature. Ten children considered GH deficient on clinical and biochemical grounds had concordantly low GH levels during sleep and after arginine stimulation. Of the 18 children without GH deficiency, 17 had GH levels greater than or equal to 15 mU/l during the sleep test (mean peak 39 mU/l) and 13 had GH levels greater than or equal to 15 mU/l after arginine infusion (mean peak 25 mU/l). A sleep test is safe, reliable, and practicable for routine clinical use.
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