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Failure to Thrive

Failure to thrive (FTT), or faltering growth, describes suboptimal weight gain and growth in children. The majority of cases are due to inadequate caloric intake; however, genetic, infectious Infectious Febrile Infant, and oncological etiologies are also common. A thorough history and physical examination guide the work-up to uncover the underlying cause. The causes of FTT are divided into nonorganic and organic. A multidisciplinary approach is taken in the management of nonorganic causes of FTT; organic causes require management of the underlying cause. Recognition and treatment of FTT are important to avoid developmental delay.

Last updated: 21 Apr, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Failure to thrive (FTT) describes suboptimal weight gain and growth in children. Failure to thrive is measured as a drop below the 5th percentile for age and sex Sex The totality of characteristics of reproductive structure, functions, phenotype, and genotype, differentiating the male from the female organism. Gender Dysphoria, or a drop in weight that crosses 2 major percentile lines on standardized growth charts in a 6-month period.

Multiple definitions exist and are considered valid:

  • Weight or height below 5th percentile for age and sex Sex The totality of characteristics of reproductive structure, functions, phenotype, and genotype, differentiating the male from the female organism. Gender Dysphoria on multiple occasions
  • < 80% ideal median Median After arranging the data from loWest to highest, the median is the middle value, separating the lower half from the upper half of the data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion weight for age and height
  • Decreased weight over 2 major percentile lines in a 6-month period
  • > 2 standard deviations below mean Mean Mean is the sum of all measurements in a data set divided by the number of measurements in that data set. Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion for comparable peers of same age and sex Sex The totality of characteristics of reproductive structure, functions, phenotype, and genotype, differentiating the male from the female organism. Gender Dysphoria
Growthchart ftt

Growth chart showing failure to thrive (FTT):
Weight beneath the 2nd percentile on more than 2 occasions warrants further investigation.

Image by Lecturio.

Epidemiology

  • Approximately 10% of the pediatric population
  • Approximately 4% of children admitted to hospitals are diagnosed with FTT.
  • 90% of cases are associated with lower socioeconomic status or psychosocial stressors.
  • Risk factors:

Etiology

Failure to thrive (FTT) is an indicator Indicator Methods for assessing flow through a system by injection of a known quantity of an indicator, such as a dye, radionuclide, or chilled liquid, into the system and monitoring its concentration over time at a specific point in the system. Body Fluid Compartments of underlying pathology or psychosocial impairment. Causes of FTT are grouped by inadequate caloric intake, malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion, increased metabolic demand, or inefficiency in caloric use.

Inadequate caloric intake (90% of cases)

  • Nonorganic:
    • Undernourishment 
    • Child abuse Child abuse Child abuse is an act or failure to act that results in harm to a child’s health or development. The abuse encompasses neglect as well as physical, sexual, and emotional harm. Seen in all subsets of society, child abuse is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Child Abuse/ neglect Neglect Child Abuse
    • Psychosocial deprivation
    • Social issues (poverty, economic stressors, marital issues, family problems)
  • Organic:
    • Craniofacial abnormalities (impaired suction)
    • Chronic illness
    • Vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia
    • Severe gastroesophageal reflux

Malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion

  • Celiac disease Celiac disease Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten enteropathy) is an autoimmune reaction to gliadin, which is a component of gluten. Celiac disease is closely associated with HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. The immune response is localized to the proximal small intestine and causes the characteristic histologic findings of villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia, and intraepithelial lymphocytosis. Celiac Disease
  • Cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans (CF)
  • Milk protein intolerance
  • Short gut syndrome
  • Chronic diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea

Inefficient or defective use of calories

  • Chromosomal syndrome
  • IUGR
  • Severe prematurity Prematurity Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g., congenital hypothyroidism Congenital hypothyroidism A condition in infancy or early childhood due to an in-utero deficiency of thyroid hormones that can be caused by genetic or environmental factors, such as thyroid dysgenesis or hypothyroidism in infants of mothers treated with thiouracil during pregnancy. Endemic cretinism is the result of iodine deficiency. Clinical symptoms include severe mental retardation, impaired skeletal development, short stature, and myxedema. Hypothyroidism)
  • Congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
  • Amino acid Amino acid Amino acids (AAs) are composed of a central carbon atom attached to a carboxyl group, an amino group, a hydrogen atom, and a side chain (R group). Basics of Amino Acids and organic acid disorders

Excessive metabolic demands

  • Congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis cardiopathies
  • Congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis thyrotoxicosis Thyrotoxicosis A hypermetabolic syndrome caused by excess thyroid hormones which may come from endogenous or exogenous sources. The endogenous source of hormone may be thyroid hyperplasia; thyroid neoplasms; or hormone-producing extrathyroidal tissue. Thyrotoxicosis is characterized by nervousness; tachycardia; fatigue; weight loss; heat intolerance; and excessive sweating. Thyrotoxicosis and Hyperthyroidism
  • CF
  • Malignancies
  • Chronic infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease (e.g., HIV HIV Anti-HIV Drugs, immune deficiency)

Clinical Presentation

Because diagnosis is ascertained through growth chart comparison, cases are often detected during a well-child visit or an ED visit for dehydration Dehydration The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism. Volume Depletion and Dehydration and lethargy Lethargy A general state of sluggishness, listless, or uninterested, with being tired, and having difficulty concentrating and doing simple tasks. It may be related to depression or drug addiction. Hyponatremia.

History

  • Prenatal:
    • Gestational age Gestational age The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of fertilization. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last menstruation which is about 2 weeks before ovulation and fertilization. Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Physiology, and Care at birth
    • Exposure Exposure ABCDE Assessment to toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite. Felines are the definitive host, but transmission to humans can occur through contact with cat feces or the consumption of contaminated foods. The clinical presentation and complications depend on the host’s immune status. Toxoplasma/Toxoplasmosis, other agents, rubella Rubella An acute infectious disease caused by the rubella virus. The virus enters the respiratory tract via airborne droplet and spreads to the lymphatic system. Rubella Virus, cytomegalovirus Cytomegalovirus CMV is a ubiquitous double-stranded DNA virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family. CMV infections can be transmitted in bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, urine, semen, and breast milk. The initial infection is usually asymptomatic in the immunocompetent host, or it can present with symptoms of mononucleosis. Cytomegalovirus, or herpes simplex Herpes Simplex A group of acute infections caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 that is characterized by the development of one or more small fluid-filled vesicles with a raised erythematous base on the skin or mucous membrane. It occurs as a primary infection or recurs due to a reactivation of a latent infection. Congenital TORCH Infections (TORCH) infection
    • Maternal cigarette or drug use
  • Perinatal: 
    • Birth weight
    • Feeding pattern and technique
  • Medical:
    • Immunizations, developmental milestones Developmental milestones Developmental milestones are the skills or abilities that most children are able to perform when they reach a certain age. Understanding the appropriate milestones and at what age they are reached helps clinicians identify symptoms of delayed development. Developmental milestones are divided into 5 important domains: gross motor, fine motor, language, social, and cognitive. Developmental Milestones and Normal Growth, history of infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease
    • GI history signifying malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion
  • Social:
    • Economic, financial, and social support circle analysis
    • Caregiver perception Perception The process by which the nature and meaning of sensory stimuli are recognized and interpreted. Psychiatric Assessment of child care Child care Child and adolescent care is the area of healthcare dedicated to individuals who are beyond the immediate neonatal age through adulthood. These individuals do not present a uniform group, but are a series of patient populations, each with evolving healthcare needs (both preventive and pathologic) unique to them. Child and Adolescent Care
  • Nutritional history:
    • Food allergies Allergies A medical specialty concerned with the hypersensitivity of the individual to foreign substances and protection from the resultant infection or disorder. Selective IgA Deficiency
    • Vitamin supplementation

Physical examination

  • Observation of caregiver dynamics:
    • Apathy Apathy Lack of emotion or emotional expression; a disorder of motivation that persists over time. Wernicke Encephalopathy and Korsakoff Syndrome
    • Breastfeeding Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is often the primary source of nutrition for the newborn. During pregnancy, hormonal stimulation causes the number and size of mammary glands in the breast to significantly increase. After delivery, prolactin stimulates milk production, while oxytocin stimulates milk expulsion through the lactiferous ducts, where it is sucked out through the nipple by the infant. Breastfeeding technique
  • Signs of neglect Neglect Child Abuse
  • Malnourishment or dehydration Dehydration The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism. Volume Depletion and Dehydration:
  • Developmental delay: hypotonia Hypotonia Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and persistent infantile clenched fists
  • Cardiopulmonary ( congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis cardiopathy):
    • Slow feeding, dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, diaphoresis with feeding, tachypnea Tachypnea Increased respiratory rate. Pulmonary Examination, restlessness, and diaphoresis during sleep Sleep A readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility. Physiology of Sleep
    • Cyanosis Cyanosis A bluish or purplish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes due to an increase in the amount of deoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood or a structural defect in the hemoglobin molecule. Pulmonary Examination, heart murmurs Heart murmurs Heart sounds caused by vibrations resulting from the flow of blood through the heart. Heart murmurs can be examined by heart auscultation, and analyzed by their intensity (6 grades), duration, timing (systolic, diastolic, or continuous), location, transmission, and quality (musical, vibratory, blowing, etc). Heart Sounds and clicks Clicks A high-pitched sound occurring at the point of maximal opening of the valves Heart Sounds, and/or a hyperdynamic precordium
  • Endocrine:
    • Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by a deficiency of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause worldwide, but Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune thyroiditis) is the leading cause in non-iodine-deficient regions. Hypothyroidism: constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation and decreased activity level
    • Diabetes Diabetes Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia and dysfunction of the regulation of glucose metabolism by insulin. Type 1 DM is diagnosed mostly in children and young adults as the result of autoimmune destruction of β cells in the pancreas and the resulting lack of insulin. Type 2 DM has a significant association with obesity and is characterized by insulin resistance. Diabetes Mellitus: polyuria Polyuria Urination of a large volume of urine with an increase in urinary frequency, commonly seen in diabetes. Renal Potassium Regulation and polydipsia Polydipsia Excessive thirst manifested by excessive fluid intake. It is characteristic of many diseases such as diabetes mellitus; diabetes insipidus; and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. The condition may be psychogenic in origin. Diabetes Insipidus

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is clinical: History and physical examination guide confirmatory lab testing and direct to the underlying etiology.

  • Blood work: 
    • CBC: leukopenia, thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome
    • Iron studies Iron Studies Iron Deficiency Anemia anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
    • Inflammatory markers: erythrocyte sedimentation rate Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Soft Tissue Abscess ( ESR ESR Soft Tissue Abscess) and CRP → underlying inflammation Inflammation Inflammation is a complex set of responses to infection and injury involving leukocytes as the principal cellular mediators in the body’s defense against pathogenic organisms. Inflammation is also seen as a response to tissue injury in the process of wound healing. The 5 cardinal signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation
    • Biochemistry:
      • Electrolyte imbalance: hyponatremia Hyponatremia Hyponatremia is defined as a decreased serum sodium (sNa+) concentration less than 135 mmol/L. Serum sodium is the greatest contributor to plasma osmolality, which is very tightly controlled via antidiuretic hormone (ADH) release from the hypothalamus and by the thirst mechanism. Hyponatremia, hypokalemia Hypokalemia Hypokalemia is defined as plasma potassium (K+) concentration < 3.5 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain plasma concentration between 3.5-5.2 mEq/L despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hypokalemia can be due to renal losses, GI losses, transcellular shifts, or poor dietary intake. Hypokalemia, and hypomagnesemia Hypomagnesemia A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of magnesium in the diet, characterized by anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. Symptoms are paresthesias, muscle cramps, irritability, decreased attention span, and mental confusion, possibly requiring months to appear. Deficiency of body magnesium can exist even when serum values are normal. In addition, magnesium deficiency may be organ-selective, since certain tissues become deficient before others. Electrolytes malnutrition Malnutrition Malnutrition is a clinical state caused by an imbalance or deficiency of calories and/or micronutrients and macronutrients. The 2 main manifestations of acute severe malnutrition are marasmus (total caloric insufficiency) and kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition with characteristic edema). Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries/ dehydration Dehydration The condition that results from excessive loss of water from a living organism. Volume Depletion and Dehydration 
      • ↓ Prealbumin → malnutrition Malnutrition Malnutrition is a clinical state caused by an imbalance or deficiency of calories and/or micronutrients and macronutrients. The 2 main manifestations of acute severe malnutrition are marasmus (total caloric insufficiency) and kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition with characteristic edema). Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries 
      • Metabolic acidosis Metabolic acidosis The renal system is responsible for eliminating the daily load of non-volatile acids, which is approximately 70 millimoles per day. Metabolic acidosis occurs when there is an increase in the levels of new non-volatile acids (e.g., lactic acid), renal loss of HCO3-, or ingestion of toxic alcohols. Metabolic Acidosis
      • Urea Urea A compound formed in the liver from ammonia produced by the deamination of amino acids. It is the principal end product of protein catabolism and constitutes about one half of the total urinary solids. Urea Cycle and creatinine → kidney function
      • Liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy function tests
      • Vitamin levels (especially vitamin D Vitamin D A vitamin that includes both cholecalciferols and ergocalciferols, which have the common effect of preventing or curing rickets in animals. It can also be viewed as a hormone since it can be formed in skin by action of ultraviolet rays upon the precursors, 7-dehydrocholesterol and ergosterol, and acts on vitamin D receptors to regulate calcium in opposition to parathyroid hormone. Fat-soluble Vitamins and their Deficiencies)
    • Allergy Allergy An abnormal adaptive immune response that may or may not involve antigen-specific IgE Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction testing for milk protein 
    • Hormonal studies:
      • TSH, T3 T3 A T3 thyroid hormone normally synthesized and secreted by the thyroid gland in much smaller quantities than thyroxine (T4). Most T3 is derived from peripheral monodeiodination of T4 at the 5′ position of the outer ring of the iodothyronine nucleus. The hormone finally delivered and used by the tissues is mainly t3. Thyroid Hormones/ T4 T4 The major hormone derived from the thyroid gland. Thyroxine is synthesized via the iodination of tyrosines (monoiodotyrosine) and the coupling of iodotyrosines (diiodotyrosine) in the thyroglobulin. Thyroxine is released from thyroglobulin by proteolysis and secreted into the blood. Thyroxine is peripherally deiodinated to form triiodothyronine which exerts a broad spectrum of stimulatory effects on cell metabolism. Thyroid Hormones 
      • Growth hormone
    • Test for inborn error Error Refers to any act of commission (doing something wrong) or omission (failing to do something right) that exposes patients to potentially hazardous situations. Disclosure of Information of metabolism
  • Specific tests to confirm underlying cause:
    • Chloride Chloride Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion. Electrolytes sweat test → cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
    • Tissue transglutaminase deficiency → celiac disease Celiac disease Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten enteropathy) is an autoimmune reaction to gliadin, which is a component of gluten. Celiac disease is closely associated with HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. The immune response is localized to the proximal small intestine and causes the characteristic histologic findings of villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia, and intraepithelial lymphocytosis. Celiac Disease
  • Imaging:
    • Bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types series: multiple fractures at different stages → rickets Rickets Disorders caused by interruption of bone mineralization manifesting as osteomalacia in adults and characteristic deformities in infancy and childhood due to disturbances in normal bone formation. The mineralization process may be interrupted by disruption of vitamin d; phosphorus; or calcium homeostasis, resulting from dietary deficiencies, or acquired, or inherited metabolic, or hormonal disturbances. Osteomalacia and Rickets or abuse
  • GI series → rule out an anatomic defect

Management

A multidisciplinary approach is taken to manage FTT, especially in nonorganic causes.

  • Nonorganic FTT: Improve psychosocial well-being and nutrition.
    • Lactation Lactation The processes of milk secretion by the maternal mammary glands after parturition. The proliferation of the mammary glandular tissue, milk synthesis, and milk expulsion or let down are regulated by the interactions of several hormones including estradiol; progesterone; prolactin; and oxytocin. Breastfeeding consultant to educate mother or caregiver on proper latch and feeding routine
    • Dietitian to assess the quality Quality Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps. Quality Measurement and Improvement of food intake
    • Child psychologist and social service worker involvement in cases of abuse and trauma
    • Nutritional rehabilitation 
    • Support for caregiver
    • Hospitalization Hospitalization The confinement of a patient in a hospital. Delirium indicated if: 
      • Severely malnourished (need for parenteral nutrition Parenteral nutrition The administering of nutrients for assimilation and utilization by a patient who cannot maintain adequate nutrition by enteral feeding alone. Nutrients are administered by a route other than the alimentary canal (e.g., intravenously, subcutaneously). Central Venous Catheter)
      • Any case suspected of abuse (for safety and a full work-up)
  • Organic FTT: Treat the underlying cause.

Complications

Refeeding syndrome may occur in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship treated for severe chronic malnutrition Malnutrition Malnutrition is a clinical state caused by an imbalance or deficiency of calories and/or micronutrients and macronutrients. The 2 main manifestations of acute severe malnutrition are marasmus (total caloric insufficiency) and kwashiorkor (protein malnutrition with characteristic edema). Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries.

  • Reintroduction of carbohydrate results in:
    • Increased insulin Insulin Insulin is a peptide hormone that is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin plays a role in metabolic functions such as glucose uptake, glycolysis, glycogenesis, lipogenesis, and protein synthesis. Exogenous insulin may be needed for individuals with diabetes mellitus, in whom there is a deficiency in endogenous insulin or increased insulin resistance. Insulin hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is an emergency condition defined as a serum glucose level ≤ 70 mg/dL (≤ 3.9 mmol/L) in diabetic patients. In nondiabetic patients, there is no specific or defined limit for normal serum glucose levels, and hypoglycemia is defined mainly by its clinical features. Hypoglycemia, fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia, weakness, and confusion
    • Salt and water retention → edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema
    • Hypokalemia Hypokalemia Hypokalemia is defined as plasma potassium (K+) concentration < 3.5 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain plasma concentration between 3.5-5.2 mEq/L despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hypokalemia can be due to renal losses, GI losses, transcellular shifts, or poor dietary intake. Hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia Hypomagnesemia A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of magnesium in the diet, characterized by anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. Symptoms are paresthesias, muscle cramps, irritability, decreased attention span, and mental confusion, possibly requiring months to appear. Deficiency of body magnesium can exist even when serum values are normal. In addition, magnesium deficiency may be organ-selective, since certain tissues become deficient before others. Electrolytes, and hypophosphatemia Hypophosphatemia A condition of an abnormally low level of phosphates in the blood. Bartter Syndrome → arrhythmia
  • Prevent with a slow introduction of calories and vitamin supplementation.

Prognosis Prognosis A prediction of the probable outcome of a disease based on a individual’s condition and the usual course of the disease as seen in similar situations. Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

  • If nonorganic FTT is treated, the patient’s weight usually normalizes within 6 months.
  • If left untreated:

Clinical Relevance

Differential Diagnosis

The following conditions can present similarly to FTT and must be considered on presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor:

  • Constitutional growth delay Constitutional growth delay Normal growth pattern variant. Child size normal at birth. Growth rate decelerates more pronouncedly than expected at 3–6 months of age. Late pubertal growth spurt. Delayed skeletal age compared to chronological age. Growth period is prolonged and adult height is normal. Short Stature in Children: causes prepubertal short stature but results in normal adult height without intervention. The child is usually appropriate at birth, but the growth rate drops between 3–6 months of age. By 3 years old, growth is in the 2nd–5th percentile curve on a growth chart. The children are usually healthy, but small, with no pathological cause of the growth delay. Puberty Puberty Puberty is a complex series of physical, psychosocial, and cognitive transitions usually experienced by adolescents (11-19 years of age). Puberty is marked by a growth in stature and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, achievement of fertility, and changes in most body systems. Puberty is often delayed and growth continues for longer than normal. Adult height is normal.
  • History of prematurity Prematurity Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Born at a lower weight and facing additional challenges (e.g., difficulty feeding and increased metabolic needs), premature Premature Childbirth before 37 weeks of pregnancy (259 days from the first day of the mother’s last menstrual period, or 245 days after fertilization). Necrotizing Enterocolitis neonates are typically small. Corrected age, which takes into account the infant’s prematurity Prematurity Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, must be used to plot their size on growth charts and ensure the correct percentile is highlighted.

Causes of FTT

Insufficient caloric intake:

  • Child abuse Child abuse Child abuse is an act or failure to act that results in harm to a child’s health or development. The abuse encompasses neglect as well as physical, sexual, and emotional harm. Seen in all subsets of society, child abuse is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Child Abuse/ neglect Neglect Child Abuse: Child neglect Child neglect Malnutrition in children in resource-limited countries is either the inadequate provision of a proper diet or the withholding of food as punishment. Child abuse Child abuse Child abuse is an act or failure to act that results in harm to a child’s health or development. The abuse encompasses neglect as well as physical, sexual, and emotional harm. Seen in all subsets of society, child abuse is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Child Abuse/ neglect Neglect Child Abuse is a common cause of FTT. By mandate, physicians Physicians Individuals licensed to practice medicine. Clinician–Patient Relationship in the United States are obligated to report suspected child abuse Child abuse Child abuse is an act or failure to act that results in harm to a child’s health or development. The abuse encompasses neglect as well as physical, sexual, and emotional harm. Seen in all subsets of society, child abuse is a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Child Abuse/ neglect Neglect Child Abuse to the appropriate authorities. 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) ( GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)): reflux of gastric content into the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy mainly due to increased relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter Lower Esophageal Sphincter Esophagus: Anatomy. Children suffering from GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) lose weight due to the inability to retain food content long enough to derive calories. The reflux may rarely cause ulcerations resulting in anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types and iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements deficiency.

Malabsorptive causes:

  • Celiac disease Celiac disease Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten enteropathy) is an autoimmune reaction to gliadin, which is a component of gluten. Celiac disease is closely associated with HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. The immune response is localized to the proximal small intestine and causes the characteristic histologic findings of villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia, and intraepithelial lymphocytosis. Celiac Disease: a GI condition characterized by an immune-mediated reaction to gluten Gluten Prolamins in the endosperm of seeds from the triticeae tribe which includes species of wheat; barley; and rye. Celiac Disease-containing food leading to enteritis Enteritis Inflammation of any segment of the small intestine. Lactose Intolerance and nutrient malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with celiac disease Celiac disease Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten enteropathy) is an autoimmune reaction to gliadin, which is a component of gluten. Celiac disease is closely associated with HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. The immune response is localized to the proximal small intestine and causes the characteristic histologic findings of villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia, and intraepithelial lymphocytosis. Celiac Disease do not present with FTT until after the introduction of solid food.
  • Cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans (CF): an autosomal recessive Autosomal recessive Autosomal inheritance, both dominant and recessive, refers to the transmission of genes from the 22 autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal recessive diseases are only expressed when 2 copies of the recessive allele are inherited. Autosomal Recessive and Autosomal Dominant Inheritance genetic disease caused by absent or reduced function of cystic Cystic Fibrocystic Change fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with CF have increased caloric requirements due to their chronic respiratory illness and most develop pancreatic insufficiency. Fat malabsorption Malabsorption General term for a group of malnutrition syndromes caused by failure of normal intestinal absorption of nutrients. Malabsorption and Maldigestion and FTT result from the inability to secrete pancreatic enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes
  • Chronic diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea: usually symptomatic of underlying malabsorptive pathology ranging from milk protein allergy Allergy An abnormal adaptive immune response that may or may not involve antigen-specific IgE Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction to celiac disease Celiac disease Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue or gluten enteropathy) is an autoimmune reaction to gliadin, which is a component of gluten. Celiac disease is closely associated with HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. The immune response is localized to the proximal small intestine and causes the characteristic histologic findings of villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia, and intraepithelial lymphocytosis. Celiac Disease. Chronic diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship usually present with FTT in infancy. Management is based on finding and managing the underlying cause in order to maintain proper nutrition.

Increased caloric demand:

  • Congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis heart disease (cyanotic or acyanotic Acyanotic Tetralogy of Fallot): increased caloric demand due to increased metabolic demand on tissues with reduced blood supply. Generally, all chronic illnesses cause FTT due to increased caloric needs to maintain metabolic demands.

References

  1. Turay, F., & Rudolph, J. A. (2018). Nutrition and gastroenterology. In B. J. Zitelli MD, S. C. McIntire MD & Nowalk, Andrew J., MD, Ph.D. (Eds.), Zitelli and Davis’ atlas of pediatric physical diagnosis (pp. 394–418). https://www.clinicalkey.es/#!/content/3-s2.0-B9780323393034000116
  2. Carrasco, M. M., & Wolford, J. E. (2018). Child abuse and neglect. In B. J. Zitelli MD, S. C. McIntire MD & Nowalk, Andrew J., MD, Ph.D. (Eds.), Zitelli and Davis’ atlas of pediatric physical diagnosis (pp. 171–235). https://www.clinicalkey.es/#!/content/3-s2.0-B9780323393034000062
  3. Grasemann, H. (2020). Cystic fibrosis. In L. Goldman MD, & A. I. Schafer MD (Eds.), Goldman-Cecil medicine (pp. 544–548.e1). https://www.clinicalkey.es/#!/content/3-s2.0-B9780323532662000837

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