Gigantism and acromegaly occur when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. The pituitary gland is a small structure that’s found at the base of the skull. It produces growth hormone, which helps the body grow during puberty.

There are similarities between acromegaly and gigantism, but they have differences.

“Gigantism occurs in children. Growth hormone production is over when a child is still growing. The child’s height and size increase.”

Gigantism is extremely rare. Barrow Neurological Institute estimates there have been just 100 cases in the United States.

Middle-aged adults are affected by acromegaly. Growth hormone is overproduced after puberty. This causes growth that is atypical in adulthood.

Acromegaly is rare and progresses slowly. The National Organization for Rare Disorders says it’s more common than gigantism, affecting about 50 to 70 people out of 1 million.

The following chart compares two different things.

Gigantism Acromegaly
Age of onset childhood, before puberty adulthood, after puberty
Cause pituitary and nonpituitary tumors pituitary tumors or conditions like The syndrome is called McCune-Albright., The complex is called Carney., or The GPR101 gene is a genetic abnormality.
Main symptoms tall height, large size, enlarged extremities and facial features enlarged extremities and facial features
Onset of puberty delayed typical
Progress of symptoms rapid slow
Diagnosis physical exam, imaging tests, blood tests physical exam, imaging tests, blood tests
Preferred treatment surgical removal of tumor surgical removal of tumor

Excess growth hormone causes gigantism and acromegaly, but they have different symptoms. The age at which each condition develops is the reason for this.

Symptoms of gigantism

A child with gigantism will be larger and taller than other children of the same age. Other symptoms include:

  • Large hands and feet.
  • thick toes and fingers.
  • Soft hands.
  • The jaw and forehead are enlarged.
  • Significant underbite.
  • enlarged lips, tongue, and nose
  • The voice in boys is deeper.
  • oily skin
  • excessive sweating..
  • Skin tags
  • Joint pain.
  • There is a throbbing head.
  • Difficult sleeping
  • Periods that are irregular.

Symptoms of acromegaly

The symptoms of acromegaly can be missed. The symptoms can be different.

Possible symptoms include:

  • enlarged hands and feet
  • The teeth are not aligned.
  • There are enlarged lips, tongue, or jaw.
  • The voice is deeper.
  • Weakness in the muscles.
  • It is impossible to sleep.
  • fatigue
  • There is a throbbing head.s
  • Joint inflammation and pain are common.
  • The spine is curved.
  • Darkened or thick skin.
  • oily skin
  • excessive sweating..
  • Difficult breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • excessive hair
  • Skin tags
  • There are spaces between the teeth.
  • splayed fingers.
  • Vision problems.

Excess growth hormone is the cause of cavernousism and acromegaly. A benign tumor in the pituitary gland is the most common cause of these conditions. The tumor is located in the pituitary.

“Excess growth hormone is not produced by all pituitary adenomas. It can cause gigantism or acromegaly depending on a person’s age.”

Other gigantism causes

gigantism might be related to other conditions.

  • The complex is called Carney.
  • The syndrome is called McCune-Albright.
  • Multiple neoplasia types 1 or 4
  • There is a disease called neurofibromatosis.
  • The GPR101 gene is a genetic abnormality.

Other acromegaly causes

A tumor in the body can cause acromegaly. This includes tumors.

  • The lungs are large.
  • The pancreas.
  • The hypothalamus.
  • The adrenals are the glands that make the hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
  • Either chest or abdomen.

Growth hormones are made by the pituitary glands when tumors produce hormones. Sometimes, these tumors produce their own growth hormone.

It does not turn into acromegaly. Each disorder is determined by the age when it begins.

gigantism is when a person overproduces growth hormones during childhood. They will still have gigantism as an adult because it developed when they were a child.

Acromegaly is a condition that develops in adulthood and will not turn into acromegaly.

There are risks and complications due to excess growth hormone.

Complications of gigantism

It is possible that gnasticism may lead to:

Complications of acromegaly

The problems of acromegaly are similar to those of gigantism. The condition may increase your risk.

The images show people with acromegaly.

Similar tests are used to diagnose gigantism and acromegaly.

  • Medical history. Your doctor will want to learn more about your family history and current symptoms. This information can help them determine if you need additional tests.
  • Physical examination. This allows your doctor to look for physical symptoms, like an enlarged tongue or prominent facial bones.
  • Blood tests. Gigantism and acromegaly involve high blood levels of growth hormone and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Your doctor might also check other hormones, like cortisol and thyroid hormone, which may be low.
  • Imaging tests. If your doctor thinks a pituitary adenoma is causing your symptoms, they may order an MRI or CT scan. This test will show the size and location of the tumor.

“The goal of treatment is to reduce the body’s production of growth hormones. This will likely include several therapies.”


If gigantism or acromegaly is caused by a tumor, surgery is the preferred treatment.

A camera will be inserted into your nose during surgery. They will remove the entire tumor to help lower the production of growth hormone.

If the tumor is accessible, this option is ideal. If the tumor is hard to reach, or if it is too large, your doctor might not recommend surgery.


Growth hormones can be lowered with medication. It may be used in a few scenarios.

  • Growth hormones are still high after surgery.
  • “You can’t get surgery.”
  • Your doctor wants to shrink the tumor before surgery.

Growth hormone production can be regulated by the following types of medication.

  • Somatostatin analogue.
  • dopamine agonists.
  • Growth hormone receptor antagonists are growth hormones.

Radiation therapy

If surgery is not an option, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy. It uses a beam of radiation to destroy tumors. This can help shrink the tumor.

Options include:

  • Stereotactic irradiation. Stereotactic irradiation may be used for gigantism or acromegaly. It applies one high dose of radiation to the tumor. This won’t destroy the surrounding tissues, but it can take about 18 months to lower growth hormone levels.
  • External irradiation. This option is typically used for acromegaly. It involves smaller doses of radiation, which you’ll receive over several years every 4 to 6 weeks.

A side effect of radiation is hypopituitarism, or low pituitary hormone production. That’s because the radiation destroys part of the pituitary gland.

It is important to visit your doctor if you have gigantism or acromegaly. They can help you manage your growth hormones.

If you’ve had surgery, your growth hormone levels will be measured after 12 weeks. Surgery can successfully treat up 50 to 80 percent of cases, according to the UCLA Pituitary and Skull Base Tumor Program, depending on the size of your tumor. The success rate is higher for smaller tumors.

You may need to do regular testing to manage the problems. This includes tests.

Your doctor will continue to monitor your hormones and function regardless of your treatment plan.

Excess growth hormone causes both acromegaly and gigantism. A pituitary tumor or underlying condition may be the cause of gis. Acromegaly is caused by a tumor in the pituitary glands.

A doctor will use a physical exam, blood tests, and other tests to diagnose the condition. The preferred treatment is surgical removal of the tumor, but medication and radiation therapy may also be used.

The goal is to manage growth hormone levels. Your doctor can help you decide on a treatment plan.