If a child is suspected to have short stature the first step is to document the height and weight in a growth chart and assess the position on the chart with respect to the height of the parents and children of same age and sex.
Once short stature is established, it is always better to get evaluated by an endocrinologist who will proceed ahead with complete medical history and physical examination. Based upon relevance the child maybe advised investigations like:
· Xray of the hand which will help in assessing the bone age of the child (also to determine maturity and growth potential of bones).
· Blood tests (to rule out hormone or other disorders associated with growth failure)
· Chromosome/Genetic tests
· Examining the functions of the pituitary gland, which produces and secretes the growth hormone.
· Growth hormone stimulation tests: these are done under observation of the kid in the clinic.
· Imaging if necessary, to look for pituitary gland or brain tumours.
Depending on the degree of stunting, the doctor may decide on watching your kid for 6-12 months before deciding to investigate him/her.
Dr. Titto Oommen