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Idiopathic short stature; Non-growth hormone deficient short stature
All children should have their growth and development monitored on a regular basis.
If your child appears to be much shorter than most children his or her age (or if the growth rate has decreased or stopped), call your health care provider.
The health care provider will perform a physical examination. The child's height, weight, and arm and leg lengths will be measured. If the short stature appears to be a sign of some medical condition, further tests, including laboratory studies and x-rays, may be needed.
To learn more about possible causes, the health care provider will ask questions, such as:
A bone age x-ray is often done. X-rays are usually made of the left wrist or hand.
Girls with short stature may have a genetic test done to check for certain diseases, such as Turner syndrome.
Other tests may include:
Although your health care provider keeps records of height and weight from routine examinations, you may find it helpful to keep your own records. You may want to bring these records to your health care provider's attention if the growth seems slow or the child seems small.
A child's short stature will often affect self-esteem. Providing emotional support is an important part of treatment. Children may be teased by classmates and friends. Family, friends, and teachers should be sure to emphasize the child's other skills and strengths.
Growth hormone injections are also used to treat children with Turner syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, chronic kidney failure, or idiopathic short stature (ISS).
Children who are of short stature but who have normal growth hormone levels usually do not need growth hormone injections. These children may only receive growth hormone injections when:
Some boys with short stature who also have delayed puberty may receive certain medicines containing the male hormone, testosterone.
Cohen P, Rogol AD, Deal CL, et al. Wit JM: 2007 ISS Consensus Workshop participants. Consensus statement on the diagnosis and treatment of children with idiopathic short stature: a summary of the Growth Hormone Research Society, the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Workshop. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93:4210-4217.
Parks JS, Feiner EL. Hypopituitarism. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 558.
Collett-Solberg PF, Misra M. Drug and Therapeutics Committee of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society. The role of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-1 in treating children with short stature. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93:10-18.
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