IGF Binding Protein 3 (IGFBP 3)

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: IGF Binding Protein 3 IGFBP 3

Igf Binding Protein 3

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The IGF Binding Protein 3 (IGFBP 3) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The IGF Binding Protein 3 (IGFBP-3) test measures the levels of IGFBP-3 in the blood. IGFBP-3 is a protein that binds to insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), particularly IGF-1, and regulates their availability in the body. This test is valuable in assessing the body's growth hormone and IGF-1 activity.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why the Test May Be Ordered:

The IGFBP-3 test may be ordered when evaluating growth disorders in children or adults. It is also used to diagnose and monitor conditions related to the growth hormone and IGF-1 axis, such as acromegaly (excess growth hormone production) and conditions where growth hormone therapy is used.

What the Test Checks For: The IGFBP-3 test primarily checks for the levels of IGFBP-3 in the blood. Low levels of IGFBP-3 can indicate growth hormone deficiency, while elevated levels can suggest conditions like acromegaly or gigantism.

Other Lab Tests That May Be Ordered Alongside:

When an IGFBP-3 test is ordered, it's typically part of a broader evaluation of growth and hormonal health. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1):

    • Purpose: To measure the level of IGF-1, a hormone important for growth and development.
    • Why Is It Ordered: IGF-1 is the principal hormone regulated by IGFBP-3, and its levels can provide information about growth hormone (GH) activity.
  2. Growth Hormone (GH):

    • Purpose: To measure the level of growth hormone in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: GH stimulates the production of IGF-1, and abnormal levels can indicate growth disorders such as gigantism, acromegaly, or growth hormone deficiency.
  3. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess general health and rule out conditions that might affect growth and development.
  4. Thyroid Function Test:

    • Purpose: To evaluate thyroid function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Thyroid hormones are crucial for growth and development, and thyroid disorders can impact growth.
  5. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: The liver is involved in the production of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3.
  6. Kidney Function Test:

    • Purpose: To evaluate kidney function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Kidney health can affect growth and the metabolism of growth-related hormones.
  7. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH):

    • Purpose: To assess the function of the reproductive system.
    • Why Is It Ordered: In cases of delayed or early puberty, these tests can help assess the developmental stage.

These tests, when ordered alongside an IGFBP-3 test, provide a comprehensive view of a person’s growth, hormonal health, and development. They are crucial for diagnosing and managing growth disorders and assessing the impact of growth hormone activity. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, age, medical history, and the reasons for testing.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring the Test:

  • Growth Disorders: Children with growth disorders, including short stature, may have IGFBP-3 levels that can provide insights into the cause.
  • Acromegaly: Elevated IGFBP-3 levels, along with elevated IGF-1 levels, are common in acromegaly, a condition characterized by excessive growth hormone.
  • Gigantism: Similar to acromegaly, gigantism is characterized by excessive growth hormone secretion before the fusion of growth plates.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results:

  • Diagnosis: Low IGFBP-3 levels can indicate growth hormone deficiency, while high levels can suggest overproduction of growth hormone, aiding in the diagnosis of acromegaly or gigantism.
  • Treatment Monitoring: For patients undergoing growth hormone therapy, IGFBP-3 levels can help monitor treatment effectiveness.
  • Overall Assessment: Interpreting IGFBP-3 levels alongside IGF-1 and other growth hormone-related tests allows healthcare providers to comprehensively evaluate growth hormone function.

In conclusion, the IGFBP-3 test is a valuable tool for assessing the activity of the growth hormone and IGF-1 axis. By measuring IGFBP-3 levels in the blood, healthcare providers can diagnose and monitor growth disorders, growth hormone deficiencies, and excesses like acromegaly, allowing for tailored treatment and management strategies.

Most Common Questions About the IGF Binding Protein 3 test:

Clinical Utility of the IGFBP-3 Test

What is the IGF Binding Protein 3 test, and what is its role in endocrinology?

The IGF Binding Protein 3 (IGFBP-3) test measures the levels of IGFBP-3, a protein that binds IGF-1, regulating its activity. It plays a crucial role in growth and development and is used to evaluate disorders related to growth hormone deficiency or excess.

Why is the IGFBP-3 test used alongside the IGF-1 test?

The IGFBP-3 test is often used with the IGF-1 test to provide a more comprehensive view of growth hormone activity. IGFBP-3 regulates IGF-1's bioavailability, and abnormalities in IGFBP-3 can reflect underlying growth hormone disorders.

How is the IGFBP-3 test used to assess growth hormone deficiencies in adults?

The IGFBP-3 test can help diagnose growth hormone deficiencies in adults by measuring the levels of IGFBP-3, which may be lower in such deficiencies. It can guide treatment with growth hormone replacement therapy.

Interpreting IGFBP-3 Test Results

What are the reference ranges for the IGFBP-3 test, and how are they established?

Reference ranges for the IGFBP-3 test depend on age, sex, and laboratory methods. They are usually established through population studies, considering normal growth and development stages. Reference ranges assist clinicians in interpreting the test results.

How are elevated IGFBP-3 levels interpreted in clinical practice?

Elevated IGFBP-3 levels may indicate conditions such as acromegaly or insulin resistance. The interpretation should be made in conjunction with other clinical findings and laboratory tests.

Time Considerations in IGFBP-3 Testing

When should the IGFBP-3 test be ordered in suspected growth hormone disorders?

The IGFBP-3 test is typically ordered when there are symptoms of growth hormone deficiency or excess, such as abnormal growth in children or metabolic disturbances in adults. The timing may also be guided by previous diagnostic findings.

Does the timing of the IGFBP-3 test matter in relation to food intake or time of day?

Yes, the timing can affect the results. Since IGF-1 levels fluctuate during the day and with food intake, the IGFBP-3 test is often performed after an overnight fast and preferably in the morning to minimize variability.

Integration with Other Diagnostic Tools

How does the IGFBP-3 test complement other tests for growth hormone disorders?

The IGFBP-3 test is part of a series of assessments for growth hormone disorders. It complements other tests like IGF-1 levels, growth hormone stimulation or suppression tests, and imaging studies, providing a comprehensive evaluation.

Can the IGFBP-3 test be used alongside genetic testing in diagnosing congenital growth disorders?

Yes, the IGFBP-3 test can be used in conjunction with genetic testing to diagnose congenital growth disorders. Abnormalities in IGFBP-3 may prompt further genetic evaluation to identify specific genetic causes.

Challenges and Considerations in IGFBP-3 Testing

How does liver or kidney function affect the IGFBP-3 test results?

Liver and kidney functions can affect IGFBP-3 levels since the liver produces IGFBP-3 and the kidneys are involved in its clearance. Chronic liver or kidney diseases may alter IGFBP-3 levels, necessitating careful interpretation.

What are the considerations in interpreting the IGFBP-3 test in the context of metabolic syndromes or diabetes?

Metabolic syndromes or diabetes can influence IGFBP-3 levels due to changes in insulin sensitivity and growth hormone regulation. It requires a holistic assessment considering other clinical and laboratory data.

IGFBP-3 Test in Monitoring Treatment and Follow-Up

How is the IGFBP-3 test used in monitoring treatment for growth hormone disorders?

The IGFBP-3 test may be used to monitor the response to growth hormone replacement therapy or treatment for growth hormone excess. Changes in IGFBP-3 levels can provide insights into treatment efficacy and guide adjustments.

Can the IGFBP-3 test be used for follow-up in cancer survivors with growth hormone deficiencies?

Yes, the IGFBP-3 test can be an essential tool in the follow-up of cancer survivors who may develop growth hormone deficiencies due to chemotherapy or radiation. Regular monitoring can help in managing growth and metabolic issues.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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