NIH-Funded Study Seeks Answers to Sex Differences in Pediatric Statural Growth Impairment

December 8, 2015

Statural growth is a dynamic, highly visible indicator of overall health in pediatric patients. It is widely known that patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease during childhood and adolescence are often shorter than their counterparts who do not have Crohn’s. However, it remains a mystery why male Crohn’s patients more frequently suffer from statural growth impairment than female patients, despite female patients frequently having a more severe course of disease. An NIH-funded study led by one of the CADC’s physicians at the Komansky Center for Children’s Health seeks to find answers to this disparity.

Dr. Neera Gupta, physician scientist at the Komansky Center for Children’s Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, has studied growth in inflammatory bowel disease for most of her medical career, including use of bone age as a key measure in pediatric Crohn’s patients and the role of IGF-1 in statural growth in young male and young female Crohn’s patients. Her current study focusing on sex differences in statural growth impairment in pediatric Crohn’s disease (“Growth Study”) may lead researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine to better understand the underlying mechanisms of growth impairment in pediatric Crohn’s disease.

“This study has the potential to change the way we care for our patients,” said Dr. Gupta. “We rely on a partnership with our families to achieve the common goal of improving the care of our patients in the future.”

Patients will be followed for two years and will meet with the Growth Study team a total of five times after an initial screening visit if they qualify for the study. These comprehensive study visits will go beyond height and weight measurement to include patient interviews on medical history and physical development, nutritional assessments and blood tests, and up to two more bone age X-rays over the course of the two years. This wide range of data points will then be analyzed by the Growth Study team.

Dr. Gupta’s Growth Study is currently enrolling through 2016. Learn more about enrollment criteria and methodologies on the Department of Medicine’s clinical trials website.