SHORT syndrome is a medical condition in which affected individuals have multiple birth defects in different organ systems. SHORT is an acronym for short stature, hyperextensibility of joints and/or inguinal hernia, ocular depression, rieger anomaly and teething delay. Short stature refers to any person who is significantly below the average height for a person of the same age and sex -- specifically, the shortest 3 - 5% of the population. The term often refers to children or adolescents who are significantly below the average height of their peers.
Short stature is not necessarily a symptom or sign of a health problem. Two relatively short but healthy parents may have an entirely healthy child who is in the shortest 5%. On the other hand, short stature may be a symptom caused by a medical condition. Since many of these conditions are treatable, the person should be examined by a health care provider. The rate of growth over time is important in determining the cause.
- Achondroplasia - Chronic diseases such as congenital heart disease, kidney diseases, asthma, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes - Constitutional growth delay - Craniopharyngioma - Cushing's disease - Delayed puberty (causes temporary short stature, but normal height is eventually achieved) - Down syndrome - Hypothyroidism that develops before birth - Inflammatory bowel disease - Malabsorption disorders such as celiac disease - Malnutrition - Noonan syndrome - Panhypopituitarism - Growth hormone deficiency - Precocious puberty - Rickets - Russell-Silver syndrome - Turner syndrome - Williams syndrome This list is not all-inclusive.
No particular care is used to treat short stature unless the short stature is associated with a treatable medical condition. In that case, the appropriate prescribed care should be undertaken.
If your child appears to be significantly shorter than the majority of children his or her age (or if the rate of growth has decreased or stopped), call your health care provider.