Causes of Gigantism


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Gigantism is an uncommon condition resulting in abnormal growth in children. It arises when there is excessive secretion of growth hormone known as somatotropin by pituitary gland.

Functions of Pituitary gland

The pituitary gland located in the brain performs significant role in the body which include:
Regulation of body
Enhancement of sexual development
Assisting in general growth in the body
Controlling metabolism
Facilitating urine production



The main cause of gigantism is the growth of abnormal cells in the pituitary gland. The growth of tumor leads to excessive production of growth hormone more than the body requires.

Abnormal bone tissue growth
Inherited benign endocrinal tumor
Inherited disorder of the nervous system
Inherited disorder known as multiple endocrine neoplaia



Thicken toes and fingers
Pronounced jaw and forehead
Big hands and feet
Bigger in size and height than child of the same age
Coarse facial characteristics
Flatten nose
Big lip




Vision impairment
Repeated headaches
Nausea and vomiting
Profuse sweating
Sleep disorders
Retarded puberty in both boys and girls
Menstrual disorders in females
Loss of hearing



The diagnosis can be made through any of the following ways:

Growth hormone level test using blood sample
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) test using blood sample
Oral glucose tolerance test
Imaging scan such as MRI scan of the gland to know the size and location of the tumor in case of presence of tumor in the pituitary gland


See also  Flow of blood in the body



The available treatment options include any of the followings:
Use of medication to reduce the size of the tumor or ends the secretion of the excessive growth hormone
Removal of the abnormal cell in the pituitary gland
Radiation therapy to destroy the tumor

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