The use of bone age in clinical practice - Part 2

David D. Martin, Jan M. Wit, Ze'Ev Hochberg, Rick R. Van Rijn, Oliver Fricke, George Werther, Noël Cameron, Thomas Hertel, Stefan A. Wudy, Gary Butler, Hans Henrik Thodberg, Gerhard Binder, Michael B. Ranke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


If height-limiting treatment is being considered for a child with tall stature, skeletal maturity is invaluable in the selection of appropriate patients for treatment, determining appropriate age of treatment commencement, monitoring progress of treatment, and determining the expected treatment effect on adult height. In precocious puberty, bone maturation can be usefully assessed at initial diagnosis and start of treatment and at regular intervals thereafter during treatment monitoring. Together with height, bone maturation is an essential parameter for long-term treatment monitoring in congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Bone age (BA) determination in children with skeletal dysplasia is only feasible in a few disorders and estimations should be treated with caution. Radiographs of the left hand and wrist are, however, essential in the diagnosis of many skeletal disorders. Bone mineralization and measures of bone lengths, width, thickness and cortical thickness should always be evaluated in relation to a child's height and BA, especially around puberty. The use of skeletal maturity, assessed on a radiograph alone to estimate chronological age for immigration authorities or criminal courts is not recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone age
  • Bone mineral density
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Precocious puberty
  • Skeletal maturity
  • Tall stature


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