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Hemihypertrophy refers to the overgrowth (hypertrophy) of one side of the body. A person with hemihypertrophy will be found to have enlargement of the body on the affected side, so that the chest may be more full on the affected side as well as the arm and leg being longer and thicker in diameter.
Hemihypertrophy in infants and young children is important because such children have a much higher incidence of certain abdominal cancers, notably Wilm's tumor of the kidney and hepatoblastoma (liver cancer). Unequal leg length cause some walking difficulties as well.
Children with hemihypertrophy require careful periodic followup examinations to detect any early sign of malignancy. This followup must continue for a number of years.
Hemihypertrophy can be a familial trait or may occur sporadically.