Print this Page Cushing's Message Boards

Acromegaly - An Overview

23 July 1999
by Troya Renee Yoder, used with permission
as originally posted on Suite, Pituitary Disorders

Acromegaly is a serious adult condition that results when the body is exposed to high levels of growth hormone for a prolonged time. The progression of the disease is subtle and gradual, often resulting in misdiagnosis for years. When increased growth hormone secretion occurs in childhood, it is clinically referred to as “gigantism”. Besides the debilitating nature of the disease, acromegaly results in severe physical changes, and increased morbidity due to enlargement of the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, and increased risk for cancerous colon polyps.

The increased growth hormone secretion is most often due to a benign adenoma of the pituitary gland. In rare cases, acromegaly is caused by tumors of the pancreas, lungs or adrenal glands, which either produce GH themselves, or produce growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRD), which stimulates the pituitary to produce GH.

It is estimated that three out of a million people develop acromegaly each year. However, because of clinical misdiagnosis, it is thought that this number is an underestimation of the true number of cases.




The treatment for acromegaly involves normalization of GH and IGF-1 levels.


Other articles of interest:

Octreotide Treatment of Pituitary Adenomas

Medical Management of Acromegaly with Octreotide

AACE Program Advances Care of Acromegaly

HOME | Contents | Search | Adrenal Crisis! | Abbreviations | Glossary | Forums | Donate | Interactive | Bios | Troya | Pituitary Tumors | • Acromegaly |