Chronic illness in children often produces a retardation in growth. This retardation is usually temporary, the growth process proceeding again normally with convalescence. The slowing of growth in such cases has been attributed to a conservation of the available energy of the child in the struggle to overcome the disease. Thursfield1 regarded it as a lack of the available material that normally would be built into the growing tissues. The same explanation has been given for the slowness of growth often seen in severe malnutrition. However, as he also mentioned, adequate growth requires the proper proportion and distribution of the material for growth and adequate stimulus (Stefanescu2) for its utilization. For this Thursfield postulated a proper functioning of the glands of internal secretion. The commoner disturbances in growth resulting from dysfunction of the endocrine glands have frequently been described (Mau;3 Ravina;4 Lawrence;5 Talbot6).
KUHNS JG, SWAIM LT. DISTURBANCES OF GROWTH IN CHRONIC ARTHRITIS IN CHILDREN. Am J Dis Child. 1932;43(5_PART_I):1118–1133. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1932.01950050070007