How are growth abnormalities detected in children with suspected Crohn disease?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Careful assessment of growth and development is an important part of evaluating pediatric patients. Growth abnormalities may be detected by evaluating the following parameters:

  • Height and weight

  • Height and weight percentiles for the patient’s age, as well as weight percentile for the patient’s height

  • Growth velocity

  • Body composition on anthropometry

  • Skeletal bone age

The most sensitive indicator of growth abnormalities in children is a decrease in growth velocity, which may be observed before the major percentile lines on standard growth curves are crossed. Decreased height velocity before the onset of intestinal symptoms can be observed in as many as 46% of patients with Tanner stage 1 or 2 development. Height at maturity is often compromised. Pubertal delay may precede the onset of intestinal symptoms, and accurate Tanner staging should be a part of routine physical examination.


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