GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gigantism and dwarfism. Historical artwork, from a publication dated 1865, of gigantism (centre) and dwarfism (right). The Chinese people pictured are Mr. Chang (2.3 metres tall), his wife at left and Mr. Chung (0.9 metres tall). Gigantism (excessive growth) is caused by the overproduction of growth hormone, resulting from a tumour on the pituitary gland. If untreated, the tumour may destroy the gland, resulting in death. Dwarfism (short stature) has a variety of causes, including hereditary disorders such as achondroplasia and hormonal disorders such as growth hormone deficiency.
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