Human growth is influenced not only by environmental and internal factors but also by a large number of different genes. One of these genes, SHOX, is believed to play a major role in growth, since defects in this homeobox-containing gene on the sex chromosomes lead to syndromal short stature (Léri-Weill dyschondrosteosis, Langer mesomelic dysplasia, and Turner syndrome) as well as to idiopathic short stature. We have analyzed 118 unrelated patients with Léri-Weill dyschondrosteosis and >1,500 patients with idiopathic short stature for deletions encompassing SHOX. Deletions were detected in 34% of the patients with Léri-Weill dyschondrosteosis and in 2% of the patients with idiopathic short stature. For 27 patients with Léri-Weill dyschondrosteosis and for 6 with idiopathic short stature, detailed deletion mapping was performed. Analysis was performed by polymerase chain reaction with the use of pseudoautosomal polymorphic markers and by fluorescence in situ hybridization with the use of cosmid clones. Here, we show that, although the identified deletions vary in size, the vast majority (73%) of patients tested share a distinct proximal deletion breakpoint. We propose that the sequence present within this proximal deletion breakpoint "hotspot" region predisposes to recurrent breaks. © 2005 by The American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved.