The genetic growth disorder outpatient clinic at the LUMC offers patient care to children with growth problems. While this usually involves short stature, some children may show excessive growth. Medical and laboratory testing in the clinic focuses on finding the cause of the growth disorder.
The growth disorder outpatient clinic is staffed by members of the departments of clinical genetics and paediatrics at the LUMC.
Why investigate the cause of abnormal growth in your child?
Your child has been shown to have a too great or too small stature. Your paediatrician has usually already conducted some exploratory testing to identify the cause of the abnormal growth. When an obvious cause does not emerge, a referral to the genetic growth disorder outpatient clinic for further specialist examination may be appropriate.
Identifying the cause of a growth disorder is important, as this helps to clarify expectations regarding growth and any other medical problems. In addition, focussed treatment can sometimes be used to normalize growth, and when the cause is known, consequences for family members can be determined.
Consultation at the genetic growth disorder outpatient clinic
A joint consultation involving a paediatrician and a clinical geneticist takes place at the paediatric outpatient clinic of the LUMC.
You will be asked about your child’s history and he or she will be examined by a paediatrician. The clinical geneticist will ask about medical problems in your family and will pay particular attention to (minor) external characteristics in your child.
In addition, growth will be estimated, including use of growth data from your paediatrician and the doctor at the Children’s Health Care Clinic. Your child’s height, weight, head circumference, sitting height and arm span will be measured. Parents will also be measured.
The next step is to consider previously conducted tests and their outcome. These tests may be repeated, but usually additional tests are conducted. Subsequent tests differ per individual, depending on personal background, family history and the physical examination, but often involve blood tests and X-ray examinations.
Working Group Genetics in Growth (GIG)
The medical records of children who are seen at the genetic growth disorder clinic are often discussed during the monthly meeting of the GIG working group. This working group includes physicians from the departments of clinical genetics (LUMC), paediatrics (LUMC and VUMC), internal medicine (endocrinology LUMC) and staff of the DNA laboratory (LUMC), all of whom have expertise in the area of growth.
If this meeting results in suggestions for additional testing, this will be discussed with you.
Discussing test results
The final phase of your visit to the growth disorder clinic will involve discussing how you wish to receive results. You can opt for a meeting with a paediatrician or clinical geneticist at the LUMC, but a telephone conversation is also an option.
Two to three months are required to complete all examinations and testing.
When all tests are completed you will again receive a letter describing the results. Results will also be sent to your family doctor and to your paediatrician.
If the cause of the growth disorder is identified, the implications for growth and any other medical problems will be explained to you, in addition to possibilities for treatment. If a hereditary cause is found, the consequences for family members will also be discussed. Sometimes further research by an additional specialist may be needed. Again, this will be discussed with you.
If the cause of the growth disorder cannot be identified, this marks the end of your contact with us. Your child’s paediatrician will then resume responsibility for further treatment.
* Mw. dr. W. Oostdijk, paediatrician (coordinator)
* Mw. dr. S.G. Kant, clinical geneticist