July 7, 2020
Clonidine GH stimulation test Minimize

Clonidine GH stimulation Test


Pituitary function tests are often requested in the diagnostic evaluation of short children. The aim under these circumstances is to determine the status of the growth hormone (GH) axis. This test may be use simulatneously with other secretagogues eg synacthen and GnRH.





Side effects

There is a risk of drowsiness and hypotension that may last in children for several hours.


Priming with sex steroids is recommended in prepubertal children who are over 10 years of age (either chronological or bone age). Prescribe stilboestrol 1mg 12 hourly for 48 hours prior to test.

This test must be performed fasting and in the morning (at least 4 hours after any food and drink - water is permitted).


  1. Clonidine for oral use
  2. 7 plain tubes
  3. an intravenous cannula

Drug administration: Clonidine150 microgm/m2 orally.


time 0 min

take 5 mL blood for TSH, LH, FSH, prolactin, GH, IGF-1, cortisol & testosterone or oestradiol
immediately give clonidine intramuscularly

time 30 min

take 2 mL blood for GH

time 60 min

take 2 mL blood for GH

time 90 min

take 2 mL blood for GH

time 120 min

take 2 mL blood for GH

time 150 min

take 2 mL blood for GH

time 180 min

take 2 mL blood for GH


An adequate rise may be defined as GH > 7µg/L (20mU/L)


  • Rahim A, Toogood AA, Shalet SM. The assessment of growth hormone status in normal young adult males using a variety of provocative agents. Clin Endocrinol 1996;45:557-562. 

Julian H Barth  5 October 2016


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