In 1968, the the term 'failure to thrive '(FTT), which combined children with very low body weight without signs of an organic disease first appeared. Literally this term is translated as "inability to flourish" and requires the exclusion of congenital or acquired diseases, one of the manifestations of which is very low body weight. However, the organic causes of FTT are no more than 10%, in the vast majority of cases, low body weight is due either to functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, or to social and domestic factors. To clarify the cause of FTT, a painstaking study of the nutritional anamnesis of the child, his immedi- ate environment, and the detection of errors in feeding are required. In FTT therapy, the main requirement is to ensure the energy status of food, its high caloric value. This problem can be solved not only with the help of standard food products, but also industrial products that are characterized by a high content of main nutrients and a higher caloric value
Key words: very low body weight of the child, failure to thrive, fluctuating body weight (weight faltering).
For citation: Zakharova I.N., Goryaynova A.N., Kukhtinova N.V. Failure to thrive: how to decipher and what to do? Pediatrics (Suppl. Consilium Medicum). 2017; 4: 18–23.
About the Author
I.N.Zakharova*1, A.N.Goryaynova1, N.V.Kukhtinova2
1Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. 123995, Russian Federation, Moscow, ul. Barrikadnaia, d. 2/1;
2Novosibirsk State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. 630091, Russian Federation, Novosibirsk, ul. Krasnyi pr-t, d. 52
1. Shaheen E, Alexander D, Truskowsky M, Barbero GJ. Failure to thrive – a retrospective profile. Clin Pediatr (Phila) 1968; 7 (5): 255–61.
2. Jaffe AC. Failure to Thrive: Current Clinical Concepts. Pediatr Rev 2011; 32 (3): 100–7; quiz 108. DOI: 10.1542/pir.32-3-100.
3. Thompson RT, Bennett WE, Finnell ME et al. Increased Length of Stay and Costs Associated With Weekend Admissions for Failure to Thrive. Pediatrics 2013; 131; e805. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2015 originally published online February 25, 2013.
4. Berwick DM, Levy JC, Kleinerman R. Failure to thrive: diagnostic yield of hospitalisation. Arch Dis Child 1982; 57 (5): 347–51.
5. Homan GJ. Failure to Thrive: A Practical Guide. Am Fam Physician 2016; 94 (4): 295–300.
6. Goh LH, How CH, Ng KH. Failure to thrive in babies and toddlers. Singapore Med J 2016; 57 (6): 287–91.
7. Cole SZ, Lanham JS. Failure to thrive: an update. Am Fam Physician 2011; 83 (7): 829–34.
8. Failure to thrive. Criteria for determining disability in infants and children summary. Evidence report/technology assessment: number 72. AHRQ publication no. 03-E019. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; March 2003. Accessed January 6, 2010.
9. Olsen EM, Petersen J, Skovgaard AM et al. Failure to thrive: the prevalence and concurrence of anthropometric criteria in a general infant population. Arch Dis Child 2007; 92 (2): 109–14.
10. Goh DY, Jacob A. Perception of picky eating among children in Singapore and its impact on caregivers: a questionnaire survey. Asia Pac Fam Med 2012; 11: 5.
11. Yatsuga S, Saikusa T, Sasaki T et al. Developmental delay and failure to thrive in a 7-month-old baby boy with spontaneous transient Graves’thyrotoxicosis: a case report. J Med Case Reports 2016; 10: 219. DOI: 10.1186/s13256-016-1013-5.
12. Hanisch BR, Belani K. CMV esophagitis as a cause of failure to thrive. Minn Med 2014; 97 (9): 50.
13. Rover M, Viera C, Silveira R. Risk factors associated with growth failure in the follow-up of very low birth weight newborns. J Pediatr (Rio J) 2016; 92 (3): 307–13.
14. Prutsky GJ, Olivera EB, Bittar K. When developmental delay and failure to thrive are not psychosocial. Hosp Pediatr 2016; 6 (1): 47–9.
15. Bossi G, Gertosio C, Meazza C et al. Failure to thrive as presentation in a patient with 22q11.2 microdeletion. Ital J Pediatr 2016; 42:14. DOI: 10.1186/s13052-016-0224-0.
16. Marcowitsch H. Failure to thrive. BMJ 1994; 308 (6920): 35–8.
17. Nützenadel W. Failure to Thrive in Childhood. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2011; 108 (38): 642–9.
18. Wright CM. Identiﬁcation and management of failure to thrive: a community perspective. Arch Dis Child 2000; 82: 5–9.
19. Patrick H, Nicklas TA, Hughes SO, Morales M. The benefits of authoritative feeding style: caregiver feeding styles and children's food consumption patterns. Appetite 2005; 44: 243–9.
20. Braegger C, Decsi T, Dias JA et al. Practical approach to pediatric enteral nutrition, comment by the ESPGAN committee on nutrition. J Pediat Gastroenterol Nutr 2010; 51: 110–22.
21. Puls HT, Hall M, Bettenhausen J et al. Failure to Thrive Hospitalizations and Risk Factors or Readmission to Children’s Hospitals. Hospital Pediatrics 2016; Issue 8: 468–75.
22. Maggioni A, Lifshitz F. Nutrional management of failure to thrive. Pediatr Clin North Am 1995; 771–810.
ZAO Medicinskie izdaniya
«CONSILIUM MEDICUM» L.L.C.
Post address: 127055, P.O. Box 97, Moscow, Russian Federation