View Main Condition: Short Stature (Growth Disorders)
Russell-Silver syndrome is a growth disorder characterized by slow growth before and after birth. Babies with this condition have a low birth weight and often fail to grow and gain weight at the expected rate (failure to thrive). Head growth is normal, however, so the head may appear unusually large compared to the rest of the body. Affected children are thin and have poor appetites, and some develop recurrent episodes of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) as a result of feeding difficulties. Adults with Russell-Silver syndrome are short; the average height for affected men is about 151 centimeters (4 feet, 11 inches) and the average height for affected women is about 140 centimeters (4 feet, 7 inches).
The genetic causes of Russell-Silver syndrome are complex. The disorder often results from the abnormal regulation of certain genes that control growth. Research has focused on genes located in particular regions of chromosome 7 and chromosome 11.
The exact incidence of Russell-Silver syndrome is unknown. Worldwide estimates range from 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 100,000 people.
Most cases of Russell-Silver syndrome are sporadic, which means they occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family.
Published Date: September 01, 2016Published By: National Institutes of Health