Constitutional delay of growth: Expected versus final adult height

S. LaFranchi, C. E. Hanna, S. H. Mandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Constitutional delay of growth and puberty is believed to represent a variation of normal growth, and it is expected that children with this condition will grow for a longer duration than average and reach a height that is normal for their genetic potential. The records of children with constitutional delay of growth and puberty who were initially seen in the Pediatric Endocrine Clinic at the Oregon Health Sciences University between 1975 and 1983 were retrospectively reviewed. Criteria for study included a height more than 2 SD below the mean, a significantly delayed bone age, and a normal growth velocity on follow-up. Forty-two subjects were located and final adult height measurements were obtained. At contact, the 29 male subjects (mean age = 23.9 years) were 169.5 ± 4.5 cm tall (mean ± SD), and the 13 female subjects (mean age = 20.5 years) were 156 ± 3.8 cm tall. Adult height predictions during follow-up, using either the Bayley-Pinneau or Roche-Wainer-Thissen method, were close to final adult heights. The males were 1.2 SD and the females 1.3 SD below the 50th percentile as adults. This finding was not fully explained by genetic short stature; the males fell 5.1 cm and the females 5.3 cm below target heights based on midparental heights. It is concluded that this discrepancy is most likely explained by a selection bias of the shortest children referred to and observed in a subspecialty clinic, although a defect in human growth hormone secretion or function in children at the far end of the spectrum of constitutional delay of growth and puberty cannot be excluded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • growth
  • height
  • puberty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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