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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Macroglossia

Definition

Macroglossia is a disorder in which the tongue is larger than normal.

Information

Macroglossia is most often caused by an increase in the amount of tissue on the tongue, rather than by a growth, such as a tumor.

This condition can be seen in certain inherited or congenital (existing at birth) disorders, including:

  • Acromegaly (buildup of too much growth hormone in the body)
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (growth disorder that causes large body size, large organs, and other symptoms)
  • Congenital hypothyroidism (decreased production of thyroid hormone)
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar caused by body producing too little or no insulin)
  • Down syndrome (extra copy of chromosome 21, which causes problems with physical and intellectual functioning)
  • Lymphangioma or hemangioma (malformations in the lymph system or buildup of blood vessels in the skin or internal organs)
  • Mucopolysaccharidoses (a group of diseases that cause large amounts of sugar to build up in the body's cells and tissues)
  • Primary amyloidosis (a buildup of abnormal proteins in the body's tissues and organs)

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Throat anatomyMacroglossiaMacroglossia

References

Forghani R, Smoker WRK, Curtin HD. Pathology of the oral region. In: Som PM, Curtin HD, eds. Head and Neck Imaging. 5th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 28.

Sankaran S, Kyle P. Abnormalities of the face and neck. In: Coady AM, Bowler S, eds. Twining's Textbook of Fetal Abnormalities. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2015:chap 13.