The authors present intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) as an entity with significant prevalence, morbidity, and mortality. They discuss short-term and long-term sequelae, and particularly emphasize long-term growth disabilities. The authors review the most important trials with human growth hormone that have been carried out recently to maximize the growth and final height potential of children affected with IUGR. They also highlight the most recent advances in the field of fetal growth, with special attention to genetic and endocrine factors. Finally, the authors discuss in detail epidemiological and clinical evidence of the causes of IUGR in relation to several adult Onset disorders.