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Disorders of growth and development 

Disorders of growth and development
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date: 25 February 2021

Normal growth has three phases: rapid in infancy and adolescence, steady during mid childhood. Height should always be interpreted within the context of the family: short or tall stature is often familial; idiopathic short stature occurs when the height of a normal child is below their target range. Constitutional growth delay is a common normal variant, but poor growth and/or weight gain may be associated with recognized and unrecognized chronic disease, and also with psychosocial deprivation. Investigation must exclude conditions including hypothyroidism, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic kidney disease. Turner syndrome (karyotype 45,X) should be suspected in all girls presenting with growth failure, and skeletal dysplasia when a child is either short for their family or has one parent of significant short stature.

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