Does constitutional delayed puberty cause segmental disproportion and short stature?
Abstract We have reviewed the growth of 98 boys and 34 girls with constitutional delay of growth and puberty followed until final height. At presentation chronological age was 14.1 (1.3) years (SD) in the boys and 13.0 (1.3) years in the girls. At presentation all patients were either prepubertal or in early pubertal maturation (4 ml testicular volume in the boys and breast stage II in the girls). Twenty-nine boys (30%) and 2 girls (6%) were treated with either sex or anabolic steroids. Mean height SDS in the boys at presentation was −2.7 (0.7) which rose to −1.9 (0.9) at final height attainment. This was significantly lower than the predicted final height SDS of −1.4 (0.8) and mid-parental height SDS of −0.5 (0.7). Similar results were obtained for the girls with a height SDS at presentation of −3.2 (0.8) which increased to −2.3 (0.7) at final height which was significantly lower than predicted final height SDS of −1.7 (0.6) and mid-parental height SDS of −0.8 (0.8). Both sexes had a relatively short sitting height at presentation; sitting height SDS −3.4 (1.0) and subischial leg length SDS −2.2 (1.0) in the boys and sitting height SDS −3.6 (1.1) and subischial leg length SDS −2.5 (0.7) in the girls. The relative disproportion between the segments had no significant change at final height. We are unable to explain the failure to achieve final height potential and the relatively disproportionate stature. Our data suggest that the late timing of the onset of puberty may be deleterious to spinal growth and consequently final height. The relatively short spinal length at presentation of constitutional delay of growth and puberty does not correct at the attainment of final stature.
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