Medical Definition of Gigantism

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Gigantism: Excessive growth both in height and specific body parts. Gigantism with extreme height may be associated with disorders of pituitary gland, which may oversecrete human growth hormone (somatotrophin) during childhood before the bones fuse. Excessive growth of specific body parts is also a feature of a number of disorders such as the Wiedemann-Beckwith syndrome in which there is macroglossia (an abnormally large tongue).

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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