Eunuchoidism

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Eunuchoidism

 

a condition that arises out of a congenital or acquired (injury, gonorrheal or syphilitic affection) deficiency of the sex glands (as a consequence of their direct affection or a decrease in the production of gonadotropic hormones by the pituitary).

Eunuchoidism is encountered most often in males. Two forms, eunuchoid gigantism and eunuchoid obesity, are distinguished; a mixed type is ordinarily observed. The principal symptoms of eunuchoidism are growth disturbances, such as gigantism and skeletal disproportion (extremely long limbs— especially the legs); thin bones (dislocations and deformities of the joints are common—flexures, clubfoot, flat feet), narrow shoulders, broad pelvis (in women, a narrow pelvis); flabby musculature; considerable fat deposits in the region of the chest, abdomen, and hips; underdeveloped sex organs; weakly developed secondary sex characteristics (absence of facial, pubic, and axillary hair and a high-pitched voice); and a sharp reduction of sexual feeling. Eunuchoids are for the most part sluggish, dependent, and inactive, although their intellect is usually normal. The condition is treated by long-term hormone therapy.

L. M. GOL’BERG