When pathological GH excess occurs before epiphyseal fusion in the long bone, the condition is known as gigantism.
In this condition, the epiphyseal plates of the long bones of the body do not close, and they remain responsive to additional stimulated growth by hGH.
At the same time, long bones gain in length by adding to the epiphyseal plate (the surface at the end of the bone).
These grow during childhood until the ends of the bone (epiphyseal plates) become fused with the shaft of the bone (the diaphysis).
Thus, poorly nourished boys and girls may be delayed in linear bone growth, diminished in all bone widths, later in the appearance of ossification centers, and delayed in epiphyseal union (completion of long-bone growth).
Children living in poverty worldwide may exhibit evidence of smaller amounts of incremental growth of all long bones and vertebrae, and delay in epiphyseal union.
By contrast, obese boys and girls evidence greater growth in bone lengths and widths, earlier appearance of ossification centers, and earlier completion of epiphyseal union.
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