Testing & Diagnosis for Growth Problems in Children

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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.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
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For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337