News Story

NF Center Researchers Investigate Decreased Height in Children with NF1

Children with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) are commonly shorter than typically developing children in the general population. While this short stature results from a change (mutation) in the NF1 gene, the reasons for this reduced height have not been identified.

Nick Zessis, MD

Abby Hollander, MD

In a new study, St. Louis Children’s Hospital resident, Nick Zessis, MD, under the direction of Dr. Abby Hollander, Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, examined the growth rates in children with NF1 over time. Longitudinal height information was collected from 188 patients with NF1, revealing short stature in fewer than 10% of all children with NF1. Moreover, by tracking growth velocity, they showed that both boys and girls demonstrated subnormal height acquisition during puberty. This blunted pubertal growth could reflect abnormalities in growth hormones or the response of bones to circulating growth factors.
This report was published in the Journal of Child Neurology.
Zessis NR, Gao F, Vadlamudi G, Gutmann DH, Hollander AS. Height Growth Impairment in Children With Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Is Characterized by Decreased Pubertal Growth Velocity in Both Sexes. J Child Neurol. 2018 Oct;33(12):762-766. doi: 10.1177/0883073818786807. Epub 2018 Jul 16.