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Skeletal Age Measurement

Skeletal age testing is the key to identifying growth patterns and deficiencies for children and adolescents. This test, sometimes known as bone age, is generally carried out by physicians once or twice a year for those individuals with short stature or growth abnormalities - estimated to be at least 5% of children and adolescents.

The score is then used by the physician to reveal information about the patient's skeletal maturity and rate of development.


Uses of Skeletal Age Assessment
Skeletal age provides more accurate information about the developmental status of a child than can be inferred from his/her height, weight, and age alone. For children and adolescents with short stature, this test may be used to determine how much growth potential a short child really has. If the patient's bone age is reduced compared to his chronological age, within a normal range, he has additional growth potential and is likely to reach a taller adult height than his current height would indicate. Skeletal age assessment helps the physician predict adult height of children and adolescents more accurately.

For patients for whom growth abnormalities are suspected, bone age tests are used to help determine if endocrine (glandular) abnormalities are present or should be investigated. For children who are using growth hormone therapy, bone age testing is used for monitoring the effects of therapy.

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