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acromegaly vs. gigantism

acromegaly vs. gigantism: What's the difference?

Acromegaly and gigantism are both caused by excess secretion of growth hormone. Acromegaly happens when the growth hormone is secreted after the long bones have stopped growing, leading to excessive growth of extremities and facial features. Gigantism happens when the growth hormone is secreted when long bones are still growing, leading to excess height.

[ ak-ruh-meg-uh-lee ]
  1. a chronic disease characterized by enlargement of the bones of the head, the soft parts of the feet and hands, and sometimes other structures, due to excessive secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
[ jahy-gan-tiz-uhm, ji-, jahy-gan-tiz-uhm ]
  1. 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.
  2. the nonpathological development of an animal or plant to an unusually large size.

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