• Mónica Tavares Pediatric Department of CH Porto
  • Inês Vaz Matos Pediatric Department of CH Porto
  • Anabela Bandeira Pediatric Department of CH Porto
  • Margarida Guedes Pediatric Department of CH Porto; Instituto Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, Universidade do Porto



Failure to thrive, nutritional assessment, diagnosis, treatment


Introduction: Failure to thrive is one of the most frequent consultation referrals in Pediatrics. Both the dificulties in its definition and the different approaches lead to a lack of consensual management. The fact that, in about 70% of the cases, the causes of failure to thrive are non organic, complicates this issue.

Objective: With this review the authors aim to propose a diagnostic and management strategy to evaluate and monitor these patients.

Methods: Review of relevant articles published on the designation of “failure to thrive” or “fallo of medro” using the databases PubMed and Cochrane.

Development: The most frequent cause of failure to thrive is related to an inadequate energy intake conditioned by psychosocial or behavioral problems. In fact only 5% of the causes of poor weight gain can be attributed to organic disease, which makes a systematic approach of these children even more dificult. The random use of laboratory tests contributes very little to the underlying diagnosis and is not recommended. A multidisciplinary approach of these children and their families, ideally with home monitoring, associated with an optimization of food intake is effective in weight gain and in a better interaction between the children and the caregivers.

Conclusions: Early recognition of this situation, associated with a multidisciplinary approach, optimized the energy intake, minimizes the long-term consequences.


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How to Cite

Tavares M, Matos IV, Bandeira A, Guedes M. APPROACH OF FAILURE TO THRIVE. REVNEC [Internet]. 2017Jan.16 [cited 2024Apr.15];22(3):162-6. Available from:



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