Condition due to the production of too much growth hormone by the pituitary gland after the end of adolescence. When there is secretion of too much growth hormone before the end of adolescence, gigantism results. People with pituitary gigantism can truly be giants; they can sometimes end up over 7 or 8 feet in height. When too much growth hormone is secreted after adolescence, there cannot be an increase in height but acromegaly ensues. The cardinal manifestations of acromegaly include thickening of the skin, soft tissues, and bones of the hands and feet. These effects are insidious and very slowly progressive. Ultimately they cause considerable disability (aside from the need for larger rings, gloves, and shoes) including hoarseness, sleep apnea, joint pain, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, visual impairment and severe headaches. Excessive growth hormone secretion may be caused by an adenoma of the pituitary (a tumor of the pituitary) or by other causes. Treatment is usually possible via medication or surgery. Inadequate treatment of pituitary gigantism or acromegaly is associated with increases in deaths from cardiovascular causes, cancer, and other causes.
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A disorder marked by progressive enlargement of peripheral parts of the body, especially the head, face, hands, and feet, due to excessive secretion of somatotropin; organomegaly and metabolic disorders occur; diabetes mellitus may develop. SYN: acromegalia. [acro- + G. megas, large]

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ac·ro·meg·a·ly .ak-rō-'meg-ə-lē n, pl -lies a disorder that is caused by chronic overproduction of growth hormone by the pituitary gland and is characterized by a gradual and permanent enlargement of the flat bones (as the lower jaw) and of the hands and feet, abdominal organs, nose, lips, and tongue and that develops after ossification is complete compare GIGANTISM

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increase in size of the hands, feet, and the face due to excessive production of growth hormone (somatotrophin) by a tumour of the anterior pituitary gland. The tumour can be treated with X-rays or surgically removed. See also gigantism.

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ac·ro·meg·a·ly (ak″ro-megґə-le) [acro- + -megaly] a chronic disease of adults caused by hypersecretion of growth hormone, characterized by enlargement of many parts of the skeleton, especially distal portions such as the nose, ears, jaws, fingers, and toes. Joint pain resulting from osteoarthrosis occurs, and the joint spaces are increased because of cartilage proliferation. Complications resulting from increased growth hormone secretion include insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, airway obstruction, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and abnormalities of calcium and bone metabolism. acromegalic adj

Acromegaly, showing characteristic skeletal enlargement.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Acromegaly — Ac ro*meg a*ly, n. [NL. acromegalia, fr. Gr. a kron point, peak + ?, ?, big.] (Med.) Chronic enlargement of the extremities and face. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • acromegaly — (n.) gigantism due to activity of pituitary after normal growth has ceased, 1886, from Fr. acromégalie, from medical L. acromegalia, from Gk. akron extremity (see ACRID (Cf. acrid)) + megas great (fem. megale; see MICKLE (Cf. mickle)). Said in… …   Etymology dictionary

  • acromegaly — [ak΄rō meg′ə lē] n. [Fr acromégalie: see ACRO & MEGALO ] a disease in which there is enlargement of the bones of the head, hands, and feet, resulting from an overproduction of growth hormone that is caused, usually, by a tumor in the pituitary… …   English World dictionary

  • Acromegaly — Infobox Disease Name = Acromegaly Caption = DiseasesDB = 114 ICD10 = ICD10|E|22|0|e|20 ICD9 = ICD9|253.0 ICDO = OMIM = 102200 MedlinePlus = 000321 eMedicineSubj = med eMedicineTopic = 27 eMedicine mult = eMedicine2|derm|593 MeshID =… …   Wikipedia

  • acromegaly — acromegalic /ak roh meuh gal ik/, adj. /ak reuh meg euh lee/, n. Pathol. 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… …   Universalium

  • acromegaly — A condition in which the pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone after normal growth of the skeleton is finished. This causes the bones of the hands, feet, head, and face to grow larger than normal. Acromegaly can be caused by a pituitary… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • acromegaly — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1889 a disorder caused by excessive production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland and marked especially by progressive enlargement of hands, feet, and face • acromegalic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • acromegaly — Enlargement of the extremities of the body as a result of the overproduction of growth hormone (somatotropin), eg. by a pituitary tumour …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • acromegaly — noun A chronic disease marked by enlargement of the bones of the extremities, face, and jaw that is caused by over activity of the pituitary gland. Syn …   Wiktionary

  • acromegaly — n. (Pathology) abnormal condition causing enlargement of the bones (in the hands, feet and head) …   English contemporary dictionary

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