Biochemical Assessment of Endocrine Function


Feedback Loops •Multiple hormones involved in coordinating homeostatic responses that keep their conc. at optimal physiologic levels •Feedback loops control the increase or decrease in hormone production •Lack of negative feedback would result in hyperfunctioning of the gland

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Disorders •1° - Involve the organs that produce the hormone •2 ° - Related to pituitary that produces trophic hormones •3 ° - Hypothalamic problems

Biochemical Assessment of Endocrine Function •Make use of direct measurement of hormone conc. •Stimulation test •Suppression test

Tests •Competitive protein - binding assays sensitive to very low levels of a hormone (e.g. nanomole conc.)

•Stimulation tests performed when a hypofunction endocrine disorder is suspected. •Suppression tests utilized with diagnosis of hyperfunction.

Assessment of hypofunction of pituitary


Hypopituitarism: gonadotropins (FSH and LH) GnRH stimulation test: Procedure •Determine the FSH and LH baseline •GnRH 100 ug IV •Sampling every 30 min for 1-2 hour Interpretation •Lack of an increase in LH (3 to 10 fold) and FSH (1.5-3 fold) over the baseline indicates an anterior pituitary disorder •Increase of FSH and LH indicates a hypothalamic disorder

Hypopituitarism: growth hormone (GH) Stimulation with: •L-dopa (250 mg orally, GH measured after 60 min) •L-arginine (arginine HCl, 0.5 g/kg BW, IV over a 30 min period, GH measured 60-120 min) •Insulin tolerance test (Regular insulin 0.1-0.15 U/kg), IV push, GH measured 30, 60 and 90 min. •Exercise (20 min of vigorous exercise and GH is measured immed. after exercise GH should rise by 10 ng/ml Lack of an increase in GH suggest a anterior pituitary or hypothalamic disorder

Hypopituitarism: Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation test: Procedure Determine the baseline TSH 500 ug TRH IV Determine TSH at 30 and 60 min after injection Interpretation: A typical response is a 5-10 fold increase of TSH lack of an increase in TSH indicates an anterior pituitary disorder, while an eventual rise indicates a hypothalamic problem.

Hypopituitarism: corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) Stimulation test:

Determine serum cortisol at baseline After 15 min inject CRH 1ug/kg BW Determine serum ACTH and cortisol at 5, 15,30,60,120 and 180 min after CRH injection

Normal response ACTH con. peaks after 30 min and cortisol peaks after 60 min No response for patients with pituitary ACTH deficiency Patient with hypothalamic disease have a prolonged ACTH response

Hypopituitarism: vasopressin or ADH Stimulation Test (Water deprivation test): Dehydration provides a strong stimulus for ADH release that can be assessed by measuring urine , osmolality or plasma ADH. If urine remains hypo-osmolal during water deprivation, ADH is administered to differentiate the hypothalamic diabetic insipidus (HDI, failure of the pitu. to secrete ADH ) or nephrogenic DI (NID, failure of the kidney to respond to ADH)

Interpretation (Water deprivation test) •Normal response no rise in plasma sodium but a concentrated urine is produced with no further increase in urine osmolality after ADH Admin. •Patients with HDI elevated plasma Na and urine osmolality will be less concentrated than normal and no change in plasma ADH levels but urine osmolality will rise by 10% after ADH admin. •Patient with NDI urine osmolality is similar to HID but a rise plasma ADH and no further increase of urine osmolality after ADH admin.

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