Pituitary Gigantism – The Towering Gentle Giants

Filed under : Disease & Disorders

Pituitary Gigantism is an atypical type of gigantism developing due to excessive production of pituitary growth hormone, generally the outcome of a pituitary adenoma. This hyper secretion of growth hormone or GH happens prior to epiphyseal growth plates in an infant could fuse or in adolescence. There is disproportionate growth and excessive height due to unremitting overactive behaviour of the pituitary gland that is situated at the base of the brain.

pituitary gigantismIn this scenario there is high serum GH and IGF-1 levels leading to quick, unwarranted linear development and in case not checked could lead to towering adult height.

Contrastingly, excessive levels of Growth hormone that commence during adulthood following total closure of epiphyseal plates have no outcome on the build and known as acromegaly. Though several chronological assertions of gigantism have been overstated, actual pituitary giants having statures nearly eight feet, eleven inches have been acknowledged in medical narratives.

Pituitary gigantism is an atypical disorder. Majority of child endocrinologists might have cited merely 1 or 2 patients having this disorder in the span of their profession. This form of gigantism is not observed to be gender specific and could develop in any age group. The signs of Pituitary gigantism have been noted to develop as soon as the initial 6 to 9 months following birth.

Pituitary gigantism classically is an intermittent and isolated disorder. But, it could develop in the circumstance of a co-existent condition or develop in accordance to an outline of family bequest.

In pituitary gigantism there is excessive secretion of growth hormone prior to conclusion of the adolescent phase. Excessive secretion of growth hormone subsequent to adolescence, there is no height increase, however a disorder known as acromegaly ensuing.

The fundamental acromegaly symptoms comprise of skin, soft tissue, hand and feet bone and skin thickening. Such outcomes are subtle and gradually progress, eventually causing major disability (apart from the requirement for bigger-sized glove, ring and footwear) include huskiness, sleep apnoea, joint aches, heart ailments, high blood pressure, ocular impediment, acute headaches and insulin resistance.

Adenoma or tumor of the pituitary could lead to pituitary gigantism and acromegaly. Medicines or surgical intervention are the treatment options for pituitary gigantism.

Surgery is beneficial in patients having Pituitary gigantism that leads to normalising endogenous GH production. A reasonable final height can be attained by administering the patient elevated dosage testosterone treatment intramuscularly.

Insufficient treatment of pituitary gigantism and acromegaly has been linked to rise in fatalities due to heart ailments, cancer and other reasons.

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