Background/Aim: About 10-15% of children born small for gestational age (SGA) have at the age of 2 years a height standard deviation score (HSDS 2y) still below -2. There is no model to predict which children will catch up in height after 2 years of age. The aim of this study was to determine the percentage of children with catch-up growth to a normal height after the age of 2 years and to develop a prediction model for growth after that age. Methods: In a cohort of 724 SGA children, the percentage of children with HSDS above -2 at 8 years of age was determined. In data of 97 children with HSDS 2y below -2, a prediction model was developed for growth between 2 and 8 years. Results: Thirty-nine percent of children with HSDS2y below -2 reached an HSDSabove -2 between 2 and 8 years (6% of the total group). Determinants of growth after age 2 years, all with a positive influence, were the difference between target height SDS and HSDS2y, change in height SDS during first 2 years of life, female gender and multiple birth. Conclusions: Catch-up growth to a normal height occurred in 91% of SGA children, in 6% between 2 and 8 years of age. The difference between target height SDS and HSDS2y was the most important determinant. The presented prediction model can identify children with low or high probability of catch-up growth after the age of 2 years. This may assist to determine which children require medical follow-up.

Catch-up growth, Height prediction model, Short for gestational age, age determination, article, body height, catch up growth, child, controlled study, development and aging, female, growth, growth curve, human, infant, life event, major clinical study, male, prediction, priority journal, probability, small for date infant,
Hormone Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Ridder, M.A.J, Engels, M.A, Stijnen, Th, & Hokken-Koelega, A.C.S. (2008). Small for gestational age children without early catch-up growth: Spontaneous growth and prediction of height at 8 years. Hormone Research, 70(4), 203–208. doi:10.1159/000137660