Gigantism is abnormal growth due to an excess of
Giantism; Pituitary giant
The most common cause of too much growth hormone release is a noncancerous (benign)
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1(MEN-1)
If excess growth hormone occurs after normal bone growth has stopped, the condition is known as
Gigantism is very rare.
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:
- Delayed puberty
- Double vision or difficulty with side (peripheral) vision
Frontal bossingand a prominent jaw
- Gaps between the teeth
- Increased sweating
- Irregular periods (menstruation)
- Large hands and feet with thick fingers and toes
- Release of breast milk
- Sleep problems
- Thickening of the facial features
Exams and Tests
The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about the child’s symptoms.
Laboratory tests that may be ordered include:
Cortisol Estradiol(girls) Growth hormone suppression test Prolactin
- Increased growth factor-I
- Thyroid hormone
Imaging tests, such as
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.
Pituitary surgery is usually successful in limiting
Early treatment can reverse many of the changes caused by growth hormone excess.
Surgery may lead to low levels of other pituitary hormones, which can cause:
Diabetes insipidus (rarely)
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if your child has signs of excessive growth.