Growth Failure in Children (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
The doctor or health-care practitioner will measure the child's weight and height. He or she may also ask about the child's birth weight and birth height. The doctor may use the parents' heights to calculate the child's projected potential adult height. The doctor may also want to know the timing of puberty in the parents. The doctor may take measurements of the limbs and trunk to determine the child's body proportions.
The doctor may perform blood tests to check for hormones and to rule out specific syndromes associated with growth failure. The following blood tests may be performed:
An MRI of the head may be indicated in children with growth hormone deficiency to rule out a brain tumor.
X-rays may be taken of the left wrist to compare with standard charts. This image can also be used to determine the child's bone age and growth potential.
Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD
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