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Failure to Thrive in Elderly Adults Workup

  • Author: Nadia Ali, MD, MPH, MBBS, ABHIM, FACP; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
Updated: Dec 03, 2015

Approach Considerations

Multiple coexisting precipitants can lead to malnutrition in persons with failure to thrive. A comprehensive history and physical examination is key to identifying the underlying precipitants. Based on the initial assessment, further workup can be performed to confirm or rule out possible suspected etiologies.


Laboratory Studies

Based on the history and physical examination, laboratory studies can be performed to further investigate the underlying etiology for failure to thrive. The following is a list of tests and conditions for which these tests may be helpful:[1]


Imaging Studies

Imaging studies such as radiography and CT scanning can be performed depending on suspected etiologies based on history and examination findings to further investigate and confirm the diagnosis.

Chest radiography can be used to evaluate for infection and/or malignancy.

CT scanning and MRI can be performed to assess for malignancy and/or abscesses.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Nadia Ali, MD, MPH, MBBS, ABHIM, FACP Clinical Assistant Professor, Temple University School of Medicine; Associate Program Director, Department of Internal Medicine, Crozer Chester Medical Center

Nadia Ali, MD, MPH, MBBS, ABHIM, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA Chief of Neurology, Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital; Professor of Neurology, Loyola University Medical Center

Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Neurology, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Management of failure to thrive.
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