A physical examination, including weight, height, and body proportions, will show signs of slowed growth rate. The child will not follow the normal growth curves.
Hand x-ray can determine bone age. Normally, the size and shape of bones change as a person grows. These changes can be seen on an x-ray and usually follow a pattern as a child grows older.
Testing is usually done after the pediatrician has looked into other causes of poor growth. Tests that may be done include:
Growth hormone causes the body to make insulin-like growth factor (IGF1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3). Tests can measure these growth factors.Accurate growth hormone deficiency testings involves a stimulation test. This test takes several hours.
MRI of the head can show the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Tests to measure other hormone levels may be done because lack of growth hormone may not be the only problem.