Acromegaly vs. Gigantism

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Acromegaly and Gigantism is that the Acromegaly is a Human disease / micro cephaly opposite and Gigantism is a Human disease

  • Acromegaly

    Acromegaly is a disorder that results from excess growth hormone (GH) after the growth plates have closed. The initial symptom is typically enlargement of the hands and feet. There may also be enlargement of the forehead, jaw, and nose. Other symptoms may include joint pain, thicker skin, deepening of the voice, headaches, and problems with vision. Complications of the disease may include type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure.Acromegaly is usually caused by the pituitary gland producing excess growth hormone. In more than 95% of cases the excess production is due to a benign tumor, known as a pituitary adenoma. The condition is not inherited from a person’s parents. Rarely acromegaly is due to a tumor in another part of the body. Diagnosis is by measuring growth hormone after a person has drunk a glucose solution, or by measuring insulin-like growth factor I in the blood. After diagnosis, medical imaging of the pituitary is carried out to determine if an adenoma is present. If excess growth hormone is produced during childhood, the result is the condition gigantism rather than acromegaly.Treatment options include surgery to remove the tumor, medications, and radiation therapy. Surgery is usually the preferred treatment; the smaller the tumor, the more likely surgery will be curative. If surgery is contraindicated or not curative, somatostatin analogues or GH receptor antagonists may be used. Radiation therapy may be used if neither surgery nor medications are completely effective. Without treatment, life expectancy is reduced by 10 years; with treatment, life expectancy is not reduced.Acromegaly affects about 6 per 100,000 people. It is most commonly diagnosed in middle age. Males and females are affected with equal frequency. It was first described in the medical literature by Nicolas Saucerotte in 1772. The term is from Greek ἄκρον akron meaning “extremity” and μέγα mega meaning “large”.

  • Gigantism

    Gigantism (Greek γίγας, gígas, “giant”, plural γίγαντες, gígantes), also known as giantism, is a condition characterized by excessive growth and height significantly above average. In humans, this condition is caused by over-production of growth hormone in childhood, resulting in people 7 to 9 ft (2.1 to 2.7 m) in height.It is a rare disorder resulting from increased levels of growth hormone before the fusion of the growth plate which usually occurs at some point soon after puberty. This increase is most often due to abnormal tumor growths on the pituitary gland. Gigantism should not be confused with acromegaly, the adult form of the disorder, characterized by somatic enlargement specifically in the extremities and face.

  • Acromegaly (noun)

    A chronic disease marked by enlargement of the bones of the extremities, face, and jaw that is caused by over-activity of the pituitary gland.

  • Gigantism (noun)

    The quality or state of being gigantic; being of abnormally large size.

  • Gigantism (noun)

    A condition where there is over-production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland in a child before the bone growth plates close, resulting in excessive long bone growth, accompanied by muscular weakness and sexual impotence.


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