An important but potentially dangerous test of anterior pituitary function involving the deliberate induction of a hypoglycaemic episode with injected insulin and the subsequent measurement of plasma cortisol and growth hormone at regular intervals over the next three hours. The stress of the hypoglycaemia should induce a rise in the levels of these hormones unless the anterior pituitary or the adrenal glands are diseased. The test can induce epileptic seizures or angina in those with a predisposition and should not be performed in susceptible individuals. It is often combined with the thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH) test and the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) test in what is known as the triple test.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.