Do not rely solely on bone age measurement for assessing growth in young children with short stature under 2 years of age.
There is no consensus protocol on bone-age assessment of younger children and infants, particularly those under the age of two. Skeletal growth and maturation is most rapid in infants and toddlers, so accurate bone-age assessment in these children is challenging.
Of the bone-age measurement techniques available, there is a major inadequacy with one of the most used methods: the limited change in the appearance of the ossification centres of the hand/wrist change in the first months of life. A recent survey found much lower rates of confidence in the accuracy of this technique when applied to the one-to-three-year-old group. Although a recently reported and validated bone-age measurement technique based on fibular shaft length was found to outperform other methods, it still yielded significant errors when applied to infants (i.e. under one year).
- Breen MA, Tsai A, Stamm A, et al. Bone age assessment practices in infants and older children among Society for Pediatric Radiology members. Pediatr Radiol 2016; 46:1269.
- Tsai A, Stamoulis C, Bixby SD, et al. Infant bone age estimation based on fibular shaft length: model development and clinical validation. Pediatr Radiol 2016; 46:342–56.
A working group of lead clinicians from APEG brainstormed an initial list of 11 low-value practices in paediatric endocrinology and a preliminary review of the evidence for each was undertaken. An online survey was developed based on these 11 recommendations along with a summary of the evidence for each, and circulated to APEG members for their feedback. For each recommendation, respondents were asked to assign a score from 1 to 5 (where 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree) on two criteria: ‘The recommendation is evidence based’ and ‘The recommendation is relevant to paediatric endocrinology in Australasia’. Based on the recommendations which received the highest average total scores, and after a final in-depth review of the related evidence, the final top five were chosen and approved by APEG.
- 1 Do not rely on random measures of circadian hormones for diagnostic purposes.
- 2 Do not rely solely on bone age measurement for assessing growth in young children with short stature under 2 years of age.
- 3 Do not routinely measure insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) for workup and diagnosis of childhood short stature.
- 4 Do not initiate gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogue treatment in children outside of central precocious puberty, for the target outcome of delaying puberty and improving final adult height.
- 5 Do not routinely prescribe aromatase inhibitors to promote growth in children with short stature.