a sporadic disorder of possible genetic origin, having a variable and changing phenotype; characterized by gigantism of the hands and feet, by distorted, abnormal growth, pigmented nevi, thickening of the palms and soles, vascular malformations, and subcutaneous lipomas; often confused with neurofibromatosis type I.
Synonym(s): elephant man's disease1
[G. Proteus, a sea god who had the power to change his form]
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