Of 30 patients with chronic liver disease 16 showed some degree of impairment of glucose tolerance, and 16 patients had lack of suppression of raised fasting growth hormone levels or showed an anomalous rise after oral glucose. No relationship, however, existed between the state of glucose tolerance and the presence of abnormal growth hormone levels. Plasma glucose in those with normal growth hormone response at 0, 1/2, 1, 1-1/2, and 2 hours, after 50 g glucose were 5.55 +/- 0.41 mmol/l, 8.71 +/- 0.59, 10.66 +/- 0.99, 10.28 +/- 1.37, 8.90 +/- 1.40 (mean +/- SEM; n = 14). Under the same conditions those with abnormal growth hormone responses showed values of 5.32 +/- 0.59, 7.83 +/- 0.81, 9.41 +/- 0.95, 9.46 +/- 0.99, 8.69 +/- 0.98. At no time were the differences significantly different as judged by Student's t test. Measurement of serum insulin indicated a relative deficiency in patients with impaired tolerance. It is concluded that the abnormal growth hormone is not directly responsible for the impaired glucose tolerance.
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