gigantism

/juy gan"tiz euhm, ji-, juy"gan tiz'euhm/, n. Pathol.
abnormally great development in size or stature of the whole body or of parts of the body, most often due to dysfunction of the pituitary gland. Cf. hypertrophy.
[1880-85; < L gigant- GIANT + -ISM]

* * *

Excessive growth, resulting from heredity, diet, or growth regulation disorder.

Androgen deficiency causes long bones to continue growing after they would normally stop. Overproduction of growth hormone
usually due to a tumour
causes pituitary gigantism (see pituitary gland). With gradual but continuous growth, height may reach 8 ft (240 cm), with normal proportions. Greater susceptibility to infection, injury, and metabolic disorders shortens the life span. Surgery or radiation can be employed to curtail further growth. Gigantism often occurs with acromegaly.

* * *

      excessive growth in stature, well beyond the average for the individual's heredity and environmental conditions. Tall stature may result from hereditary, dietary, or other factors. Gigantism is caused by disease or disorder in those parts of the endocrine system that regulate growth and development. androgen deficiency, for example, delays the closure of end plates, or epiphyses, of the long bones, which usually takes place when full growth is achieved. If the pituitary gland functions normally, producing appropriate amounts of growth hormone, while epiphyseal closure is delayed, the growth period of the bones will be prolonged. Gigantism associated with androgen deficiency is more frequent in men than in women and may be genetic.

      Another type of gigantism associated with endocrine disorder is pituitary gigantism, caused by hypersecretion of growth hormone (somatotropin), during childhood or adolescence, prior to epiphyseal closure. Pituitary gigantism is usually associated with a tumour of the pituitary gland. acromegaly (q.v.), a condition marked by progressive enlargement of skeletal extremities, occurs if growth hormone continues to be produced in large volume after epiphyseal closure. (Signs of acromegaly are occasionally seen in younger patients, prior to closure.) Since most pituitary giants continue to produce growth hormone after they reach adulthood, the two conditions—gigantism and acromegaly—are often concurrent.

      In pituitary gigantism, growth is gradual but continuous and consistent; the affected person, with bones in normal proportion, may attain a height of eight feet. Muscles may be well developed but later undergo some atrophy or weakening. The life span of pituitary giants is shorter than normal because of their greater susceptibility to infection and metabolic disorders. Treatment by surgery or irradiation of the pituitary gland curtails further growth, but stature cannot be reduced once gigantism has occurred.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gigantism — Classification and external resources Anna Haining Bates with her parents ICD 10 E22.0, E …   Wikipedia

  • gigantism — GIGANTÍSM s.n. 1. Însuşirea, calitatea de a fi gigantic. 2. Boală endocrină care constă în creşterea excesivă în lungime a corpului sau a unor părţi ale lui. – Din fr. gigantisme. Trimis de gall, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  GIGANTÍSM s.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Gigantism — refers to excessive growth both in height and specific body parts. Gigantism with extreme growth in height may be associated with disorders of the pituitary gland, which secretes human growth hormone (somatotrophin) during childhood before the… …   Medical dictionary

  • gigantism — 1885, from L. gigant (see GIGANTIC (Cf. gigantic)) + ISM (Cf. ism) …   Etymology dictionary

  • gigantism — [jī gan′tiz΄əm, jī′gantiz΄əm] n. [see GIGANTIC & ISM] 1. the quality or state of being gigantic 2. abnormally great growth of the body, due to an excessive production of growth hormone by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland …   English World dictionary

  • gigantism — n. abnormal growth causing excessive height, most commonly due to oversecretion during childhood of growth hormone (somatotrophin) by the pituitary gland. In eunuchoid gigantism the tall stature is due to delayed puberty, which results in… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • gigantism — gigantizmas statusas T sritis ekologija ir aplinkotyra apibrėžtis Pernelyg didelis žmogaus, gyvūno ar kai kurių organizmo dalių proporcingas augimas. atitikmenys: angl. gigantism vok. Gigantismus, m rus. гигантизм, m ryšiai: sinonimas –… …   Ekologijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • gigantism — noun Date: circa 1885 1. giantism 1 2. development to abnormally large size 3. excessive vegetative growth often accompanied by the inhibiting of reproduction …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gigantism — n. [Gr. gigas, giant] Excessive growth of an organ or a complete organism to a large size. gigeriate adj. [L. gigerium, gizzard] (ANNELIDA) Having one or more gizzards in the digestive system …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • gigantism — noun a) The quality or state of being gigantic; being of abnormally large size. b) A condition where there is over production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland in a child before the bone growth plates close, resulting in excessive long… …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.