Endocrine, Growth and Metabolism Conditions: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose endocrine, growth and metabolism conditions?

If a pediatric endocrinologist suspects that your child may have an endocrine, growth or metabolism condition they may recommend one or more diagnostic tests to help discover the cause of their symptoms. Common diagnostic tests include blood tests, bone density tests, x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Sometimes, additional comprehensive evaluations may be needed. These often cannot be performed on the same day of the appointment and may need to be scheduled for a future date. Some instances where comprehensive exams may be performed include:

  • Growth hormone stimulation testing (to evaluate for growth hormone deficiency)
  • ACTH stimulation testing (to evaluate for adrenal gland disorders)
  • Leuprolide stimulation testing (to evaluate for precocious puberty)
  • Admission to the hospital for prolonged testing (to evaluate for hypoglycemia or diabetes insipidus)

How do doctors at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

Diagnosing endocrine conditions generally requires lab tests to evaluate hormone levels in the blood. Often, radiologic tests such as x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also required. Sometimes, more comprehensive evaluations are needed, including dynamic hormone testing or admission to the hospital. These tests and evaluations will identify if an endocrine condition is present.