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Minerva Pediatrica 2020 Jul 20

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.20.05980-0

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Practical approach to a child with short stature

Francesco CHIARELLI , Marina PRIMAVERA, Concetta MASTROMAURO

Department of Paediatrics, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy


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Growth monitoring is a fundamental approach to evaluate a child’s health and it is part of preventive programs to timely identify and treat a possible disease. Height and weight measurements, calculation of height velocity over time are main instruments to discover pathological deviations. Short stature is defined as a height that is greater than or equal 2 standard deviations (SDS) below the mean height for reference children comparable for sex and age. According to the International Classification of Paediatric Endocrine Diagnosis (ICPED) the possible causes of short stature could be divided into three groups: primary growth disorders (intrinsic diseases of the growth plate), secondary growth disorders (diseases that interfere on the growth plate setting) and the idiopathic short stature in which no possible cause is identified. The aetiology of short stature is not always a disease, but it could be a variant of normal growth. Furthermore, to date there are new advances in the genetic causes of short stature. A detailed evaluation of a child with growth impairment should include an accurate history, a standardize physical examination, general and specific laboratory evaluations, radiologic investigations and genetic testing. Short stature could represent an important threat for physical and psychological health in a child, so a prompt identification of abnormal growth deviations offers the possibility to early treat the possible cause of shortness. This review aims to discuss a practical approach to a child with short stature on the bases of the most recent scientific evidence.


KEY WORDS: Growth; Short stature; Diagnostic approach

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