Short Stature Program

A strong history of helping children of short stature

Tufts Medical Center have truly pioneered the treatment options for children of short stature.  In 1958, Dr. Maurice Raben, an endocrinologist here at Tufts MC was able to purify growth hormone from human pituitary glands to treat the first patient with growth hormone deficiency.

Today, our Division of Pediatric Endocrinology is led by Dr. Robert Gensure, who recently became Chief after Dr. Abdollah Sadeghi-Nejad who joined the hospital in 1970, began winding down his practice for retirement. Dr. Sadeghi-Nejad worked closely with Dr. Raben himself and has created a legacy of this program using state-of-the-art ways to diagnose and treat a number of kids with growth problems each year.

Finding the cause and determining your child’s options

A child or adolescent is thought to be short if his/her height falls below the 3rd percentile line on the growth chart. However, the expected growth and final height of a child depends on a number of factors including the medical history and height of his or her parents.

The cause of your child’s short stature could be a hormone deficiency, genetic factors, or an underlying disease.  At times, short stature is called idiopathic, meaning that the cause is not known.

The goal of our program is to devise the best treatment plan for your son or daughter. The first step is to find the cause of your child’s growth deficiency by taking a family history and doing a full physical examination including accurate height, weight and limb length measurements. We then use x-rays, blood tests and other diagnostic techniques to learn all that we can about your child’s health and confirm our clinical impression before we develop a treatment plan.

If your child’s short stature is caused by a non-endocrine condition, we will coordinate his or her care with other specialists at Tufts Medical Center or in your community so that the disease can be treated first. Oftentimes, by treating the underlying disease we eliminate the cause of short stature and get your child back on the right growth track.

When there seems to be no specific cause of short stature (idiopathic), we may recommend one or a combination of treatment options including growth hormone and sex hormones.

Be assured that whatever treatment option your family chooses, whether it is watchful waiting or hormone treatment, you will have a team of experienced doctors with you every step of the way. We continue to monitor your child’s progress until his/her growth is complete.

To make an appointment, please call 617-636-8100.