Idiopathic Short Stature



Idiopathic short stature is a condition in which the height of the individual is more than 2 SD below the corresponding mean height for a given age, sex, and population, and in whom no identifiable disorder is present. It can be subcategorized into familial and non-familial ISS, according to information on delay of puberty and bone age. It is a diagnosis of exclusion and should be differentiated from other primary and secondary causes of growth failure (e.g. dysmorphic syndromes, skeletal dysplasias, short stature secondary to small birth size, and systemic and endocrine diseases). A correct diagnostic evaluation includes a thorough medical history, physical examination, screening laboratory tests, determination of bone age, exclusion of GH deficiency and insensitivity, and genetic testing in selected cases. Investigation should start with determination of auxological parameters in the child and the family coming up with a decision on more specific investigations on individual causes for growth failure. The application of growth hormone therapy in ISS remains controversial. Evidence on its impact on final height outcome is limited. A comprehensive evaluation incorporates auxological, endocrinological, economic, and psychological outcome parameters.


Short Stature Growth Hormone Deficiency Turner Syndrome Adult Height Growth Hormone Therapy 
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Adult height


Constitutional delay of growth and adolescence


Constitutional delay of growth and development


Constitutional delay of growth and puberty


European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology


Familial short stature


Growth hormone deficiency


Growth hormone receptor


growth hormone therapy


Height standard deviations


Idiopathic short stature


Non-familial short stature


Standard deviation


Small for gestational age


Target height


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Pediatric Psychology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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