Background: Short stature is a common reason for referral to the pediatric endocrine clinic. In 2003, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of growth hormone (GH) for the treatment of children with idiopathic short stature (ISS).
Objective: To explore if this indication changed referrals for short stature (SS).
Design/Methods: A retrospective chart review of children seen for SS in the pediatric endocrine clinic between July 1998 and June 1999 (interval one, n=138) and July 2005–June 2006 (interval two, n=268) was performed. Variables collected included age, gender, height (h), and parental heights.
Results: Average height standard deviation score (HT-SDS) was –2.11±0.9 in interval one and –2.14±0.83 in interval two (p=ns). No differences in age, gender distribution, relationship between child and parental heights, the proportion of subjects started on GH for ISS or in the HT-SDS of those treated between the two intervals were identified. Nearly half of all children referred in each interval did not meet the technical criteria for short stature.
Conclusions: No differences in referral patterns for SS in our area following FDA approval of GH for ISS were identified. Although referrals appear unchanged, additional investigation of GH prescribing patterns before and after this new indication is needed. Continued education of primary care physicians and the general public regarding the definition of SS and the eligibility for GH therapy should be pursued.
©2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York