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World’s Tallest Man

March 14, 2012 by staff 

World’s Tallest Man, Kosen first entered the record books at 8 feet 1 inch. His next measurement found him gaining by an inch at 8 feet 2 inches. Settling at 8 feet 3 inches, Kosen made the record books for having the largest hands at 11.22 inches and largest feet at 14.4 inches.

The result of gigantism, Kosen developed a pituitary tumor as a child, which caused his pituitary gland to produce an excessive amount of growth hormone.

“That tumor is not cancerous and it is not a brain tumor,” Dr. Mary Lee Vance, an endocrinologist at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Virginia says. “A spontaneous mutation causes the tumor, and it’s not hereditary,” she explains. Kosen’s family is all average height.

Vance first saw Kosen as a patient in the spring of 2010. The Discovery Channel was doing a show on Kosen as the “World’s Tallest Man,” and Vance, as an expert in pituitary tumors, was asked to appear.

Vance put Kosen on a new medication to try to bring down his growth hormone levels to a normal range. Medication alone would not be enough, so Vance consulted with a neurosurgeon to explore other options.

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