Acromegaly  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Acromegaly is a syndrome that results when the anterior pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone (GH) after epiphyseal plate closure at puberty. If GH is produced in excess prior to epiphyseal plate closure, the result is gigantism (or giantism). A number of disorders may increase the pituitary's GH output, although most commonly it involves a tumor called pituitary adenoma, derived from a distinct type of cell (somatotrophs).

Acromegaly most commonly affects adults in middle age, and can result in severe disfigurement, complicating conditions, and premature death if unchecked. Because of its pathogenesis and slow progression, the disease is hard to diagnose in the early stages and is frequently missed for years until changes in external features, especially of the face, become noticeable.

Gigantism is also caused by an excessive production of GH, but in contrast to acromegaly, it begins prior to epiphyseal plate closure.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Acromegaly" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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