What is the role of arm span 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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Answer

Both the arm span and US/LS ratio can be informative regarding the cause of short stature. Patients with short-limb dwarfism usually have an US/LS ratio that remains above 1.3. Newborns typically display a ratio of 1.7, which gradually drops to approximately 1 during prepubertal growth and remains close to 1 in adulthood.

Arm span also reveals a decrement in growth, which is otherwise indiscernible in a child with spinal deformation (eg, myelomeningocele).


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