Turner syndrome (TS)

Overview

TS is one of the most common types of growth failure and short stature in girls and women, affecting 25–50 per 100,000 females. On average, girls with TS tend to reach an adult stature that is 20 cm less than target height. Other developmental problems may also occur leading to significant challenges for the girl’s health and wellbeing.

Cause

The cause of TS is not fully understood; however, we know it is the result of a genetic issue. Girls with TS lack some sections on the X chromosome.

Symptoms

Girls that are shorter than expected is a key sign of TS. A number of other symptoms may be present, including eye/ear malformations, heart problems and unexplained delayed puberty.

Diagnosis

If TS is suspected by the doctor, a process called karyotyping is performed. All of the chromosomes are looked at in detail by analysing a sample of blood. If a diagnosis is made at birth or during early childhood, growth promoting therapy can be given. When the TS diagnosis is made in late childhood or early adolescence, growth-promoting therapy is needed, perhaps with higher than-usual doses of growth hormone. It is crucial to diagnose TS sooner rather than later.

Little girl typing numbers on calculator

Growth calculator

It is important to keep track of your child’s growth in order to identify if there is a problem early on. We recommend measuring your child every 6 months, which is now easier, with our simple to use growth calculator.

Male and female patients waiting in corridor of medical centre

Talking to your doctor about child growth

If you are concerned about your own or your child’s growth, you should speak to a doctor. This section will help you with what questions to ask, so that you can be prepared.

Related

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD)

When a child is diagnosed with GHD, it means that their body is not producing enough growth hormone, so they are not growing the way they should. GHD affects about 1 in every 30,000 children per year.

Familial short stature

Children with familial short stature tend to fall at the lower extreme of the growth chart (below the 3rd percentile) and their growth is usually impacted by their parents’ heights. This does not tend to impact their overall health and their height is generally considered to be appropriate for their genetic potential based on their parents’ heights.