Gigantism is abnormal growth due to an excess of growth hormone (GH) during childhood.
Pituitary giant; Overproduction of growth hormone; Growth hormone - excess production
Gigantism is very rare. The most common cause of too much GH release is a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the pituitary gland. Other causes include:
If excess GH occurs after normal bone growth has stopped (end of puberty), the condition is known as acromegaly.
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:
For pituitary tumors, surgery can cure many cases.
When surgery cannot completely remove the tumor, medicines are used to block or reduce GH release or prevent GH from reaching target tissues.
Sometimes radiation treatment is used to decrease the size of the tumor after surgery.
Albert Beckers is in Liege, Belgium. Beckers is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Gigantism. He is also highly rated in 38 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Hypothalamic Tumor, Pituitary Tumor, Acromegaly, and Gigantism.
Alessandro Mussa is in Turin, Italy. Mussa is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Gigantism. He is also highly rated in 31 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Macroglossia, Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome, Gigantism, and Hemihyperplasia.
Adrian Daly is in Liege, Belgium. Daly is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Gigantism. He is also highly rated in 24 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Gigantism, Pituitary Tumor, Hypothalamic Tumor, and Acromegaly.
Pituitary surgery is usually successful in limiting GH production.
Early treatment can reverse many of the changes caused by GH excess. Long-term effects on bones, joints, and the heart are common.
Surgery and radiation treatment may lead to low levels of other pituitary hormones. This can cause any of the following conditions:
Contact your provider if your child has signs of excessive growth.
Gigantism cannot be prevented. Early treatment may prevent the disease from getting worse and help avoid complications.
Published Date : May 13, 2021
Published By : Brent Wisse, MD, Board Certified in Metabolism/Endocrinology, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Katznelson L, Laws ER Jr, Melmed S, et al; Endocrine Society. Acromegaly: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;99(11):3933-3951. PMID: 25356808 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25356808/.
Melmed S. Acromegaly. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 12.
Melmed S. Pituitary masses and tumors. In: Melmed S, Auchus, RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 9.