The authors concluded that Primary IGFD should be recognized as a diagnostic subset separate from idiopathic short stature.
"As knowledge of the molecular basis of growth improves, new categories for classifying short stature are needed, especially with the advent of new therapeutic strategies for growth disorders," said Cohen, director of pediatric endocrinology at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA.
Short stature is a relatively common condition estimated to affect 2 percent of the population. These children undergo a series of tests to evaluate the etiology of their growth problem, including testing of their growth hormone secretion using growth hormone stimulation tests and recently, measurement of the critical growth-promoting hormone, IGF-1. Children with growth hormone deficiency typically have low blood levels of IGF-1.
IGF-1 plays a principal role in stimulating growth and its deficiency can lead to short stature. Primary IGF-1 deficiency is characterized by abnormally low levels of IGF-1 in the presence of normal or elevated growth hormone levels. Most children with short stature are currently diagnosed as growth hormone deficient or idiopathic short stature and, irrespective of their diagnosis, are treated with recombinant human growth hormone replacement therapy.
Cohen presented data on the frequency of IGF-1 deficiency (IGFD) among patients currently classified as idiopathic short stature in a prospective, observational study of children referred for growth failure. The analysis was based on data from 6,447 children referred t