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Gigantism: Wikis


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Classification and external resources

Anna Haining Bates with her parents
ICD-10 E22.0, E34.4
ICD-9 253.0
DiseasesDB 30730
MedlinePlus 001174
MeSH D005877

Gigantism, also known as giantism (from Greek gigas, gigantas "giant"), is a condition characterized by excessive growth and height significantly above average.[1]



  • "Pituitary gigantism", these are people whose hormones overproduce due to prepubertal growth hormone excess. This is sometimes equated with acromegaly, but more precisely, an excess of growth hormone leads to "pituitary gigantism" (vertical growth) if the epiphyseal plates have not yet closed,[2] but it leads to "acromegaly" (lateral growth) if they have closed.


The term is typically applied to those whose height is not just in the upper 1% of the population but several standard deviations above mean for persons of the same sex, age, and ethnic ancestry. The term is seldom applied to those who are simply "tall" or "above average" whose heights appear to be the healthy result of normal genetics and nutrition.

Other names somewhat obsolete for this pathology are hypersomia (Greek: hyper over the normal level; soma body) and somatomegaly (Greek; soma body, object pronoun somatos of the body; megas, megalos great).

Many of those who have been identified with gigantism have suffered from multiple health problems involving their circulatory or skeletal system.

See also


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