Ten patients with isolated growth hormone (GH) deficiency and 13 age-matched normal controls were studied. All patients were below the 3rd percentile in height and weight. All but 1 subject were studied for 3 or 4 consecutive nights in the sleep laboratory which included monitoring of the EEG, EOG, EMG, and EKG. GH samples were taken during sleep in 6 of the 10 patients. There were no significant differences in the slow-wave sleep (SWS) parameter between the 2 groups, nor was there any difference when all growth hormone patients were compared to controls. The age group comparisons for the percent of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep parameter revealed a significant difference between GH and controls for the youngest group only (p<0.05). Similar results were obtained when the GH subjects were grouped according to bone age. A significant decline in SWS was found with increasing chronological age (p < 0.02), while the REM parameter did not show any significant changes across age categories. None of the patients showed a sleep-related peak in GH secretion. These data are not compatible with the hypothesis of a monotonic relationship between SWS and GH secretion.

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