Short stature, growth disorder
Pathological dwarfism is a condition characterised by short stature or stunted growth. Compared to the majority of the population of the same age and the same gender, a person suffering from dwarfism has a significantly reduced body height. In this case, "significant" is not a subjective criterion but a precise statistical value based on the so-called standard deviation. This deviation is probably already noticeable to the paediatrician during the course of child health check-ups.
Dwarfism can be caused by numerous and manifold conditions. A genetic defect, malnutrition or other diseases can cause a growth disturbance. Dwarfism is not only associated with social problems but also with health problems.
Our area of expertise is endocrinology. For this reason we particularly deal with dwarfism which is caused by endocrine abnormalities, i.e. growth disorders caused by defects of the endocrine (hormone-producing) glands.
For example, a growth disorder in children can result from a growth hormone deficiency. Growth hormone is secreted from the pituitary gland (hypophysis), hence the expression "hypophyseal dwarfism". Hypothyroidism can also arrest the physical development due to a deficient production of thyroid hormone. This condition is referred to as "hypothyroid dwarfism". Stunted growth can also be caused by a child's diabetes (diabetic dwarfism) or the insufficient production of sex hormones (hypogonadal dwarfism).