What is the focus of clinical history in the evaluation of short stature?

Updated: Jan 06, 2021
  • Author: Sunil Kumar Sinha, MD; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Key data to obtain for the evaluation of short stature include the child's weight and length at birth; prior growth pattern; and the final (or current) heights and weights of parents, siblings, and grandparents.

  • Whenever possible, obtain the original birth records to document length, weight, and fronto-occipital circumference at birth.

  • Assessing the heights of both parents is absolutely essential.

  • Generally, men overreport their height, and women underreport their weight.

  • Ideally, measure each parent’s height in the clinic for optimal calculation of the mid-parental target height, according to one of several formulas, among which the author prefers the following:

  • Target height in cm for a girl = [mother's height in cm + (father's height in cm - 13)]/2

  • Target height in cm for a boy = [(mother's height in cm + 13) + father's height in cm)]/2

Document pubertal timing in first-degree relatives.

  • At a minimum, determine the age at onset of menarche for the child's mother and the age of adult height attainment for the father.

  • Most parents can usually recall these 2 milestones, which have proven reliable predictors of pubertal timing and tempo in parent-child pair studies of puberty.

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