Testing & Diagnosis for Growth Problems in Children


How can my child’s doctor tell if she has a growth problem?

Diagnosis of a growth problem must be made by your child's physician, and the method will depend on your child’s symptoms. In addition to a complete medical history, physical examination and asking about the heights and any health problems of the child’s relatives, diagnostic tests may include:

  • observation of your child's health and growth over a period of time
  • blood tests (to rule out hormone, chromosomal, or other disorders associated with growth failure)
  • a scan of the pituitary gland, which produces and regulates growth hormones (to detect abnormalities)
  • an x-ray of your child’s hand or wrist (to compare bone development with height and chronological age and determine growth potential)

It’s important for growth problems to be diagnosed early, since the earlier the diagnosis, the more effective treatment may be.