Short Stature in Children with Cerebral Palsy

  • Kevin J. SheridanEmail author
Living reference work entry


Growth in children is complex. Externally, growth is determined by changes in height, in weight, and in features of physical maturation such as body shape, body composition, and secondary sexual characteristics. Internally, growth is a churning interplay of many biochemical and physiological systems. Nutrition, metabolism, and hormones integrate with neuronal pathways and physiology in the developing brain, allowing adaptation to the environment and future reproductive capacity.

In children with cerebral palsy, assessment of growth has several challenges. Anthropometric measurements, for example, are difficult to obtain because of contractures and other bodily deformities. There are also limitations in our understanding of how maturational descriptors of growth such as bone age, bone mineral density, and body composition are applied to growing children with cerebral palsy compared to their healthier peers.

It is necessary for appropriate management of children with cerebral palsy to be aware of the subtleties in the use of modified measures of growth, in the selection of appropriate growth charts, and in the correct treatment intervention. A clearer understanding of the true health challenges the child with cerebral palsy faces leads to better risk assessments for surgical readiness and long-term health needs. The overarching goal is an improvement in the quality of life for these children as they grow into adulthood.


Growth patterns Measurements Charts Growth hormone Body composition 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gillette Children’s Specialty HospitalSaint PaulUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Steven J. Bachrach
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics (Emeritus)Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA
  2. 2.Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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