Launois' syndrome

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


 [ji-gan´tizm, ji´gan-tizm]
abnormal overgrowth of the body or a part; excessive size and stature. Generally applied to a rare abnormality of the pituitary gland, which secretes excessive growth hormone before the growing ends of the bones have closed. This causes a child to become an unusually tall adult; if the abnormality is extreme, the individual may reach a height of 2.4 meters (8 feet) or more, although the body proportions usually are normal.

The opposite condition, dwarfism, is caused by underproduction of the same hormone. (Overproduction of growth hormone in adults causes acromegaly.) Gigantism can be corrected only by early diagnosis in childhood and removal by surgery of part of the pituitary gland or by x-ray treatment.
cerebral gigantism gigantism in the absence of increased levels of growth hormone, attributed to a cerebral defect; infants are large, and accelerated growth continues for the first 4 or 5 years, the rate being normal thereafter. The hands and feet are large, the head is large, narrow and long, and the eyes have an antimongoloid slant with an abnormally wide space between them. The child is clumsy, and mental retardation of varying degree is usually present. Called also Sotos syndrome.
pituitary gigantism that caused by oversecretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland; see gigantism. Called also Launois syndrome.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.