Significant Short Stature in Children

Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) plays a principal role in stimulating growth in children. In some cases, young people have enough growth hormone, but their IGF-1 levels still remain low. This creates a condition called severe primary IGF-1 deficiency or, more simply, severe primary IGFD. In children with severe primary IGFD, the IGF-1 levels can still remain exceptionally low, even if there is sufficient production of growth hormone.

The diagnosis is made when a child's height is significantly different from other children and when tests indicate that the child's IGF-1 levels are abnormally low when growth hormone levels are normal or elevated. Severe primary IGFD is defined by a height standard deviation score that is less than or equal to -3.0,  a basal IGF-1 standard deviation score that is less than or equal to -3.0, AND normal or elevated growth hormone levels.

It is a very rare condition that affects a few thousand children in the United States.