Information About Gigantism

(also known as Acromegaly)

Gigantism is abnormal growth due to an excess of growth hormone during childhood. The most common cause of too much growth hormone release is a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the pituitary gland. Read More...

Gigantism is abnormal growth due to an excess of growth hormone during childhood. The most common cause of too much growth hormone release is a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the pituitary gland.  

Other causes include:

If excess growth hormone occurs after normal bone growth has stopped, the condition is known as acromegaly.

Gigantism is very rare.

Symptoms

The child will grow in height, as well as in the muscles and organs. This excessive growth makes the child extremely large for his or her age.

Other symptoms include:

Exam and Testing:

The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about the child's symptoms.

Laboratory tests that may be ordered include:

Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scan of the head, also may be ordered to check for a pituitary tumor.

Treatment

For pituitary tumors with well-defined borders, surgery can cure many cases.

When surgery cannot completely remove the tumor, medicines are used to block or reduce growth hormone release.



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