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Short Stature (Pediatric)

What is short stature?

Short stature means that your child's height is considerably below the average for his or her peer group. This may be due to genetics, variations in the tempo of puberty, hormonal abnormalities such as growth hormone deficiency, an under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism), or excessive production of cortisol, a hormone produced the adrenal gland.

Short stature may also be caused by underlying medical issues as well such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatological disease, chronic treatment with glucocorticoid steroids and a variety of other medications.

In addition, there are many genetic syndromes associated with short stature including Turner Syndrome and Noonan Syndrome.

How is short stature diagnosed?

Growth patterns provided by your child's pediatrician are reviewed. A complete medical history is taken and a comprehensive physical exam is performed, along with blood work.

Children are evaluated relative to their parents’ grandparents’ and siblings’ heights. Further testing may then be ordered, including a two-hour growth hormone stimulation test and an MRI of the brain.

How is short stature treated?

Some children simply require ongoing monitoring to ensure that growth rate continues to be normal for age. Treatments vary depending on the underlying condition and include growth hormone replacement therapy, gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist therapy and treatment of an underlying medical or hormonal condition