The Most Important Differences between Dwarfism and Cretinism

The Biochemistry Online – Free Online Lectures for Medical, Dental and Allied Health Sciences students by the Biochemistry Club.

What is the Difference between Dwarfism and Cretinism?


Dwarfism occurs when there is generalized deficiency of anterior pituitary secretion(pan hypopituitarism) during childhood.


Cretinism is caused by the deficiency of Thyroid Hormone in new born babies.

Factors that can cause Dwarfism (other than Growth Hormone)

  • Hypothyroidism in babies just after birth. This is known as Cretinism.
  • It can occur in patients with precocious puberty.
  • In syndrome of gonadal dysgenesis seen in patients who have an XO chromosomal pattern instead of an XX or XY pattern.
  • Various bone & metabolic diseases also cause stunted growth, and in many cases there is no known cause (“constitutional delayed growth”).
  • Chronic abuse and neglect in children, independent of malnutrition. This condition is known as Psychosocial dwarfism or the Kaspar Hauser syndrome.
  • Finally, Achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism in humans. It is characterized by short limbs with a normal trunk.
All these lectures are organized and listed in detail in their proper sections. To view these lessons please visit the Hormones and Signal Transduction Section in Biochemistry II. This can be approached by directly clicking the Biochemistry II button or it can also be approached from the drop down menu in Biochemistry II tab. Once you reach the section click the curriculum tab to view the full list in the section.
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