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Skeletal Dysplasias eMedicine
Background: Dwarfism is a commonly used term for disproportionately short stature, although a more medically appropriate term for this disorder is skeletal dysplasia. Short stature is defined as height that is 3 or more standard deviations below the mean height for age. If short stature is proportional, the condition may be due to endocrine or metabolic disorders or chromosomal or nonskeletal dysplasia genetic defects.
In general, patients with disproportionately short stature have skeletal dysplasia (osteochondrodysplasia). Skeletal dysplasias are a heterogeneous group of more than 200 disorders characterized by abnormalities of cartilage and bone growth resulting in abnormal shape and size of the skeleton and disproportion of the long bones, spine, and head.
Harold Chen, MD, MS, FAAP, FACMG, Chief, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Perinatal Genetics, Louisiana State University Medical Center
Author/Contact: Harold Chen, MD, MS, FAAP, FACMG
Institution: Department of Pediatrics, Section of Perinatal Genetics, Louisiana State University Medical Center
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Added: Mon Dec 18 2006