Longitudinal growth assessment is essential in child care. Short stature can be promptly recognized only with accurate measurements of growth and critical analysis of growth data. The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of short stature among patients referred to an endocrine pediatric clinic, King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and to ascertain the aetiological profile of short stature. This is a retrospective review of patients referred to a pediatric endocrine clinic with short stature during the period January 1990 and December 2009. After a proper detailed medical history, growth analysis and physical examination, followed by a radiological (bone age) and laboratory screening (complete blood count and thyroid function). Growth hormone stimulation tests were performed when indicated. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pituitary was performed when necessary. As well, celiac screening and small bowel biopsy were performed when appropriate. During the period under review, hundred and ten patients were evaluated for short stature. Their age ranged from 2 years and six months to 4 years. The male to female ratio was 1.3:1. The commonest etiology was genetic short stature found in 57 (51.8%) patients, while in the other 53 (48.2%) patients, variable endocrine and nutritional causes were noted. Short stature was a common referral. A wide variety of etiological diagnosis was noticed with genetic short stature being the commonest. A wide variety of endocrine causes were evident, with growth hormone deficiency, as a results of different etiologies, being the commonest.
Key words: Short stature; children; constitutional growth delay; growth hormone deficiency