Growth was evaluated in a group of 10 infants and children with familial or idiopathic classic renal tubular acidosis in whom alkali therapy was initiated at ages ranging from 8 days to 9.5 yr and administered at dosage schedules documented to sustain correction of acidosis in at least four prolonged observation periods on the Pediatric Clinical Research Ward. When alkali therapy was begun, six patients (four infants and two children) were stunted (height <2.5 SD below mean). Of the four who were not, two infants were too young (<2 wk of age) to have become stunted, and two children had been documented earlier to be nonacidotic. At the start of alkali therapy, the heights of the patients correlated inversely with the maximal possible duration of prior acidosis.
Elisabeth McSherry, R. Curtis Morris Jr.