dwarfism

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dwarfism

 [dwor´fizm]
underdevelopment of the body; the state of being a dwarf. It may be the result of a developmental anomaly, of nutritional or hormone deficiencies, or of other diseases. The size of pygmies found in some parts of the world, such as the Philippines and equatorial Africa, is not the result of dwarfism; their small stature is a hereditary trait. Called also nanism and nanosomia.

A dwarf in adulthood may be as small as 75 cm (30 inches) tall. The proportions of body to head and limbs may be normal or abnormal. In certain conditions the body may be deformed or the person may suffer from mental retardation.

achondroplasia is a developmental anomaly that affects the growth of the bones. The person's trunk is usually normal, but the head is unusually large and the limbs unusually small. Most fetuses with achondroplastic dwarfism are stillborn. Those who reach adulthood do not suffer lessening of their mental or sexual abilities, and may have unusual muscular strength. The condition does not significantly shorten the life span.

An infant who suffers from an insufficiency of thyroxine, a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland, may develop the symptoms of cretinism, including an enlarged head, short limbs, puffy eyes, a thick and protruding tongue, dry skin, and lack of coordination. This can be treated by giving the patient an extract of thyroxine; early treatment can result in normal growth and development. If the condition is not treated, however, the child will grow up dwarfed, mentally retarded, and sexually sterile.

Pituitary dwarfism occurs when the pituitary gland does not produce enough growth hormone. This hormone plays a major role in growth of the skeleton and viscera; if it is not produced in large enough quantities, growth of the trunk will be curtailed, and the head and limbs will be in normal proportion to the small torso. Administration of purified human growth hormone has been shown to induce skeletal growth in these patients.
achondroplastic dwarfism dwarfism due to achondroplasia; see dwarfism.
pituitary dwarfism dwarfism due to inadequate secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland; see dwarfism.
renal dwarfism dwarfism caused by renal failure.
rhizomelic dwarfism the autosomal recessive form of chondrodysplasia punctata.

dwarf·ism

(dwōrf'izm), Negative of pejorative connotations of this word may render it offensive in some contexts.
Obsolete term for a condition or a group of conditions in which the height of the person while standing is below the third percentile. Usually termed short stature.

dwarfism

(dwôr′fĭz′əm)
n.
1. The medical condition of being a dwarf.
2. The condition of being a dwarf animal or plant. In both senses also called nanism.

dwarfism

Nanosomia Excessively short stature–eg, ≤ 152 cm/5 ft in ♂ and ≤ 145 cm/4'9” in ♀; 35% of dwarfism is familial, 25% is idiopathic, 10% is due to pituitary failure, 10% to hypothyroidism, 10% to congenital gonadal aplasia, and the rest, etc; proper classification of the more than 55 congenital conditions associated with dwarfism allows determination of the likelihood of conceiving a similarly afflicted child. See Bird-headed dwarfism, Pituitary dwarfism, Psychosocial dwarfism, Silver-Russell dwarfism, Thanatophoric dwarfism.

dwarf·ism

(dwōrf'izm)
A condition in which the standing height of the subject is below the third percentile.

dwarfism

Abnormal shortness of stature. This may be of genetic origin as in ACHONDROPLASIA, DOWN'S SYNDROME, Trisomy 18, TURNER'S SYNDROME and Bloom's syndrome or it may result from glandular defects such as pituitary growth hormone deficiency, primary thyroid deficiency (CRETINISM), precocious puberty or adrenal gland insufficiency. It also results from various metabolic disorders such as HURLER'S SYNDROME, TAY-SACH'S DISEASE, NIEMANN-PICK DISEASE and GAUCHER'S DISEASE.

dwarfism

a form of body malfunction in which the adult individual does not reach the normal height and may sometimes have other abnormalities. Such conditions can be due to a deficiency of GROWTH HORMONE secreted by the anterior pituitary, or to cartilage abnormalities due to genetical defects (see ACHONDROPLASIA). Compare GIGANTISM.

Dwarfism, pituitary

Short stature. When caused by inadequate amounts of growth hormone (as opposed to late growth spurt or genetics), hGH deficiency results in abnormally slow growth and short stature with normal proportions.

dwarf·ism

(dwōrf'izm)
A condition in which the standing height of the subject is below the third percentile.
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