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Acromegaly and gigantism in the medical literature. Case descriptions in the era before and the early years after the initial publication of Pierre Marie (1886).

de Herder WW - Pituitary (2009)

Bottom Line: Pituitary adenomas could be found in the great majority of cases.It also became clear that acromegaly and gigantism were the same disease but occurring at different stages of life and not different diseases as initially thought.The stage was set for further research into the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of acromegaly and gigantism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine, Sector of Endocrinology, Erasmus MC, 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands. w.w.deherder@erasmusmc.nl

ABSTRACT
In 1886 Pierre Marie used the term "acromegaly" for the first time and gave a full description of the characteristic clinical picture. However several others had already given clear clinical descriptions before him and sometimes had given the disease other names. After 1886, it gradually became clear that pituitary enlargement (caused by a pituitary adenoma) was the cause and not the consequence of acromegaly, as initially thought. Pituitary adenomas could be found in the great majority of cases. It also became clear that acromegaly and gigantism were the same disease but occurring at different stages of life and not different diseases as initially thought. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century most information was derived from case descriptions and post-mortem examinations of patients with acromegaly or (famous) patients with gigantism. The stage was set for further research into the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of acromegaly and gigantism.

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Fedor Machnow (1880, Kustiaki/Witebsk (Russia)—1920, (USA)) photographed at the “London Hippodrome, London (UK) in 1905. Collection W.W. de Herder
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Fig2: Fedor Machnow (1880, Kustiaki/Witebsk (Russia)—1920, (USA)) photographed at the “London Hippodrome, London (UK) in 1905. Collection W.W. de Herder

Mentions: Fedor Machnow (1880, Kustiaki/Witebsk (Russia)—1920, USA)) (Fig. 2) started to grow rapidly from the age of 4 years. Drs. Von Luschan and Lissauer (Berlin, Germany) reported his anthropometrics in 1903 when he was 22 years old [54]. His height was 2.38 m (7 ft 9¾ in), his feet were 149 mm (5¾ in) wide and 370 mm (1 ft 2½ in) long. He was described as being of normal intelligence. In 1904, at the age of 23, Dr. M. Zondek was able to repeat the anthropometry [55]. In this paper a height of 2.36 m (7 ft 9 in) is reported. A skull radiograph was also made, but a description of the sella turcica is, regretfully, lacking. However, the skull radiograph did show extensive pneumatisation of the frontal sinuses. Interestingly, the publication describes a remarkable increase in pulse frequency from the supine position (68 beats per minute—b.p.m.) to the erect position (108 b.p.m.) suggestive of orthostasis. A radiograph of the hand showed complete ossification, suggesting that Machnow had stopped growing. He died of tuberculosis.Fig. 2


Acromegaly and gigantism in the medical literature. Case descriptions in the era before and the early years after the initial publication of Pierre Marie (1886).

de Herder WW - Pituitary (2009)

Fedor Machnow (1880, Kustiaki/Witebsk (Russia)—1920, (USA)) photographed at the “London Hippodrome, London (UK) in 1905. Collection W.W. de Herder
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2712620&req=5

Fig2: Fedor Machnow (1880, Kustiaki/Witebsk (Russia)—1920, (USA)) photographed at the “London Hippodrome, London (UK) in 1905. Collection W.W. de Herder
Mentions: Fedor Machnow (1880, Kustiaki/Witebsk (Russia)—1920, USA)) (Fig. 2) started to grow rapidly from the age of 4 years. Drs. Von Luschan and Lissauer (Berlin, Germany) reported his anthropometrics in 1903 when he was 22 years old [54]. His height was 2.38 m (7 ft 9¾ in), his feet were 149 mm (5¾ in) wide and 370 mm (1 ft 2½ in) long. He was described as being of normal intelligence. In 1904, at the age of 23, Dr. M. Zondek was able to repeat the anthropometry [55]. In this paper a height of 2.36 m (7 ft 9 in) is reported. A skull radiograph was also made, but a description of the sella turcica is, regretfully, lacking. However, the skull radiograph did show extensive pneumatisation of the frontal sinuses. Interestingly, the publication describes a remarkable increase in pulse frequency from the supine position (68 beats per minute—b.p.m.) to the erect position (108 b.p.m.) suggestive of orthostasis. A radiograph of the hand showed complete ossification, suggesting that Machnow had stopped growing. He died of tuberculosis.Fig. 2

Bottom Line: Pituitary adenomas could be found in the great majority of cases.It also became clear that acromegaly and gigantism were the same disease but occurring at different stages of life and not different diseases as initially thought.The stage was set for further research into the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of acromegaly and gigantism.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine, Sector of Endocrinology, Erasmus MC, 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands. w.w.deherder@erasmusmc.nl

ABSTRACT
In 1886 Pierre Marie used the term "acromegaly" for the first time and gave a full description of the characteristic clinical picture. However several others had already given clear clinical descriptions before him and sometimes had given the disease other names. After 1886, it gradually became clear that pituitary enlargement (caused by a pituitary adenoma) was the cause and not the consequence of acromegaly, as initially thought. Pituitary adenomas could be found in the great majority of cases. It also became clear that acromegaly and gigantism were the same disease but occurring at different stages of life and not different diseases as initially thought. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century most information was derived from case descriptions and post-mortem examinations of patients with acromegaly or (famous) patients with gigantism. The stage was set for further research into the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of acromegaly and gigantism.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus