dwarfism(redirected from chondrodystrophic dwarfism with hydrocephalus)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
nanism, abnormal shortness (less than 130 cm for males and less than 120 cm for females).
The commonest cause of dwarfism is endocrine pathology. Dwarfism can be divided arbitrarily into proportional and dis-proportional (normal and achondroplastic) types. The former group includes pituitary, thyrogenic (cretin), and infantile dwarfism and dwarfism caused by brain disease, such as encephalitis and hydrocephaly. In pituitary dwarfism, which is caused by affection of the anterior lobe of the hypophysis (or the parts of the hypothalamus that regulate pituitary function) by tumor, infection, poisoning, or injury, the dwarf is almost normal mentally but the bodily proportions and size are those of a child, the gonads are underdeveloped, obesity is common, and the facial skin is wrinkled and senile. Thyrogenic (cretin) dwarfism, caused by affection of the thyroid gland, is accompanied by impairment of ossification, metabolic disturbances, dryness of skin, and mental retardation. Types of the disproportional category include rachitic dwarfism, caused by marked skeletal deformity, dwarfism in chondrodystrophy (congenital abnormality in cartilage formation), and dwarfism in systemic bone diseases.
Treatment (before body growth ceases) is aimed at eliminatingthe causes of the dwarfism; this sometimes involves substitutiontherapy. Dwarfism is characteristic of certain tribes in Africa(Pygmies), Asia, and Oceania.