Dwarfism

by Luis Lopez

What is it?

Dwarfism is a condition of short stature. It is defined by the advocacy group Little People of America (LPA) as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or under, as a result of a medical or genetic condition.

Causes of dwarfism

Dwarfism can be caused by any of more than 200 conditions. Causes of proportionate dwarfism include metabolic and hormonal disorders such as growth hormone deficiency.

diagnosis and how is it detected

Some forms of dwarfism are evident at birth or during infancy and can be diagnosed through X-rays and a physical exam. A diagnosis of achondroplasia, diastrophic dysplasia, or spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia can be confirmed through genetic testing. In some cases, prenatal testing is done if there is concern for specific conditions.