Gigantism - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Aug 07, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult for gigantism treatment?

You should consult a child specialist who will refer you to a neurosurgeon for further evaluation and management.

2. What is the difference between gigantism and acromegaly?

Gigantism is a condition of excess GH formation by the pituitary in children before growth is completed. Acromegaly is excess GH secretion in adults.

3. How common Is gigantism?

GH excess in childhood (gigantism) is extremely rare, with total number of reported cases worldwide numbering only in the hundreds.

4. What is the height of patients with gigantism?

Most patients with gigantism achieve a height between 7 feet and nine feet.

5. When is a person referred to as a giant?

Extremely tall persons over the height of 6 feet 8 inches are classified as giants. They do not have pituitary tumor but are naturally tall.

6. Can gigantism be inherited from parent by offspring?

Gigantism is usually not inherited. The most common cause of gigantism is pituitary adenoma. However, a number of extremely rare endocrine conditions such as McCune Albright syndrome and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 can be associated with gigantism.

7. Can gigantism be cured?

If gigantism is caused by a benign pituitary adenoma with clear and well-defined margins, surgical removal is curative in most cases.

8. What is the longterm prognosis of gigantism?

Nearly 80 percent of gigantism cases caused by pituitary tumor are cured by surgery. If the tumor recurs or if surgery is not an option, medications can be used to reduce the child’s symptoms of growth hormone excess and to allow them to lead a long and productive life.

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