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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1998 Nov 14;142(46):2519-25.

[Consensus 'diagnosis of short stature in children.' National Organization for Quality Assurance in Hospitals].

[Article in Dutch]

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Sophia Kinderziekenhuis, afd. Kindergeneeskunde/Endocrinologie, Rotterdam.


Each year about 2500 children in the Netherlands are referred to a specialist because of short stature. Aim of the consensus meeting: 'Diagnosis of short stature in childhood' by general practitioners, pediatricians and pediatric endocrinologists was to promote early diagnosis and treatment of aberrant growth but also to prevent unnecessary referral and interventions. For optimal treatment of growth disorders early diagnosis is of the utmost importance. Short stature is best detected by the use of standard deviation scores (SDS) instead of percentile lines. As cut-off point for referral SDS < -1.3 (< P10) was chosen in order to identify risk groups that need further evaluation. Based on international consensus a diagnostic classification of short stature is possible, distinguishing normal variants and (or) idiopathic short stature from primary and secondary growth disorders. Using target length, the growth curve in the SDS diagram, the actual age and puberty signs, the general practitioner can use a flow chart to determine whether there is a growth problem and whether this needs treatment in primary or secondary health care. Measuring skeletal age has no additional value. Attention should also be given to psychosocial problems as the cause or the effect of short stature.

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