Dutch national registry of gh treatment in adults: Patient characteristics and diagnostic test procedures
Objective: The Dutch National Registry of GH Treatment in Adults was established in 1998 as an initiative of the Ministry of Health. The main goals were to gain more insight into long-term efficacy, safety, and costs of GH therapy (GHT) in adult GH-deficient (GHD) patients in The Netherlands. Methods: Baseline patient characteristics and diagnostic test procedures were evaluated. Results: Until January 2009 in roughly 10 years, 2891 patients (1475 men and 1416 women, mean age 43.5±16.5 years) were registered. GHD was of childhood-onset (CO) in over 20% of the patients and of isolated in 11%. The most common causes of GHD were pituitary tumors and/or their treatment, craniopharyngiomas, and idiopathic GHD. In 85% of the patients, a GH stimulation test was performed, in the majority an insulin tolerance test (ITT) (49%) or a combined GHRH-arginine test (25%). In 12% of the patients, IGF1 levels were ≤-2 S.D. combined with two or more additional pituitary hormone deficits, and in 2%, it concerned patients with CO-GHD continuing GHT in adulthood. Over the years, the test of first choice shifted from ITT toward GHRH-arginine test. Conclusion: Nearly, 2900 patients were included in the nationwide surveillance database of the Dutch National Registry of GH Treatment in Adults until January 2009. Baseline patient characteristics are comparable to that reported previously. In 85% of these patients, the diagnosis of GHD was established by provocative testing, particularly an ITT or a combined GHRH-arginine test, with an evident increase in the percentage of GHRH-arginine tests being performed in the last years.