Documenting the spontaneous growth pattern of children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) should be helpful in evaluating the effects of growth promoting treatments. Growth curves for children with ISS were constructed, based on 229 untreated children (145 boys and 84 girls) from nine European countries. The children were subdivided according to target range and onset of puberty, and the growth of these subgroups was evaluated from standard deviation scores (SDS). At birth, children with ISS were already shorter than normal (means; boys -0.8 SDS, girls -1.3 SDS). Height slowly decreased from -1.7 SDS at the age of 2 years to -2.7 SDS at the age of 16 years in boys and 13 years in girls. Final height was -1.5 SDS in boys and -1.6 SDS in girls (mean (SD): boys 164.8 (6.1) cm, girls 152.7 (5.3) cm)), which was 5-6 cm below their target height. The onset of puberty was delayed (boys 13.8 (1.3) years, girls 12.9 (1.1) years). Subclassification resulted in similar growth curves. These specific growth data may be more suitable for evaluating the effects of growth promoting treatments than population based references.
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