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Feature Article

Failure to thrive in children: when the cause is due to hormones

Uma Visser, Jan Walker

Figures

© PHOTOSTOCK-ISRAEL/SPL MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY
© PHOTOSTOCK-ISRAEL/SPL MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

Abstract

Assessment of failure to thrive (FTT) in children can be challenging and early consultation with a general paediatrician is counselled. Although endocrine causes  are rare, the consequences of missing them can be  life-threatening and they are relatively easily excluded. This article presents a series of cases and screening investigations to help direct investigation or appropriate referral for different endocrine disorders that may present as FTT.

Key Points

  • Failure to thrive describes poor weight gain with preserved linear growth, although linear growth failure will follow in time.
  • Most endocrine causes of failure to thrive are uncommon but important to consider and screen for.
  • The key to excluding endocrine causes is to think of them.

Figures

© PHOTOSTOCK-ISRAEL/SPL MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY
© PHOTOSTOCK-ISRAEL/SPL MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY