Abstract The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of standard insulin tolerance test on plasma leptin levels in children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) and in children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Furthermore, plasma leptin levels were analyzed with regard to age, body mass index (BMI), and plasma levels of human growth hormone and of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Sixty-three patients with a height below the third percentile, an age of 10.24 +/- 0.40 years and a BMI standard deviation score (SDS) of -0.78 +/- 0.13 (weight SDS -0.07 +/- 0.12; height SDS -2.39 +/- 0.10) were investigated (mean +/- SD). Based on responses to insulin tolerance test, the patients were classified as ISS (n = 49) or GHD (n = 14). Plasma leptin levels were significantly lower in all patients 60 minutes ( P < .001) and 120 minutes ( P < .001) after insulin administration. This effect was independent of GHD, and no difference in leptin decrease was found when comparing patients with ISS to those with GHD. A correlation was found when comparing plasma leptin levels of all patients to BMI SDS (r = 0.43; P < .001) and plasma IGF-1 levels (r = 0.31; P < .01). Furthermore, positive correlation was found when BMI SDS was compared to IGF-1 (r = 0.25; P < .05). In summary, we found that insulin administration in children with short stature decreases plasma leptin levels, equally in those with and without GHD.