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Open Access Research Article

The Evaluation and Followup of Children Referred to Pediatric Endocrinologists for Short Stature

David Wyatt1*, Katrina L Parker2, Stephen F Kemp3, Jane Chiang4 and D Aaron Davis5

Author Affiliations

1 Medical College of Wisconsin, 9000 West Wisconsin Avenue, MC C520, P.O. Box 1997, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1997, USA

2 Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive South West, Atlanta, GA 30310-1495, USA

3 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital 1 Children's Way, 4301 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA

4 Genentech, Inc., Stanford University Medical Center, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA

5 Medical Science Liaison, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA

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International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology 2010, 2010:652013  doi:10.1155/2010/652013

Published: 24 June 2010

Abstract

Objective. To characterize the pediatric endocrinologists' evaluation and followup of short-statured patients. Study Design. Observational study of 21,548 short-statured children (April 1996 to December 1999). Baseline demographics, laboratory testing, height standard deviation score (SDS), target height, and height relative to target height were analyzed at initial and return visits with the specialist. Patients were scheduled for at least one return visit and no recombinant human growth hormone therapy was administered. Results. Mean patient age was 8.6 years with a mean height SDS of . Patients were predominantly male (69%), prepubertal (73%), and white (76%). Few screening tests were obtained during initial evaluation. Nearly 40% of children did not return for their second scheduled visit. The follow-up rate was unrelated to demographics or degree of short stature. Conclusions. Low return rates limit specialists' ability to monitor growth or obtain laboratory testing over time. Further studies are needed to determine which tests should be obtained at the initial clinic visit as well as the basis for the low return rate in this group of children.