Abstract Growth hormone (GH) deficiency, diagnosed by radioimmunoassay (RIA) measurements of GH in blood after provocation or in continuous 24 h samples of venous blood, is usually associated with growth failure. 4 non-obese boys have been identified who had normal linear growth despite apparent GH deficiency by standard RIA. All 4 patients had normal GH concentrations as measured with an IM-9 cell radioreceptor assay (RRA). The RRA/RIA ratio of the 4 patients significantly exceeded that of controls. Thus, these patients secrete a molecule with normal GH receptor binding and bioactivity which is "invisible" to the standard GH RIA. This variant GH is possibly expressed from the human GH-V gene or a mutant allele.