Diagnosis on a positive fashion of nonorganic failure to thrive

Fabio Panetta, Domenico Magazzù, Concetta Sferlazzas, Mariangela Lombardo, Giuseppe Magazzù, Maria Cristina Lucanto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To study the predictive value of predefined symptoms and signs for allocating children into one of two groups: nonorganic and organic failure to thrive. Patients and Methods: Two hundred eight outpatients (6 months-14 years old) suffering from failure to thrive (FTT) were included in the study. Predefined symptoms and signs were considered as potential predictors of organic/nonorganic failure to thrive. All patients underwent an established diagnostic work up in order to exclude organic causes of FTT. Results: The percentage of patients without any organic symptom (negative predictive value), who were diagnosed as NOFTT was 92%; the percentage of patients having nonorganic symptoms only (positive predictive value), who were diagnosed as NOFTT was 96%, while their absence does not exclude a NOFTT diagnosis as well (negative predictive value = 41%). Conclusion: The detection of at least one nonorganic symptom or sign, with the exclusion of any organic symptom, can support a diagnosis of nonorganic FTT and therefore only few laboratory investigations seem to be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1284
Number of pages4
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • Diagnosis
  • Failure to thrive
  • Predictive value
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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