QS Study

Gigantism

Definition: It is the hyper-functional state of growth hormone in young growing children before the union of epiphysis and diaphysis. This change is most distinguished in terms of height, but girth is affected as well. It occurs when your child’s pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone, which is also known as somatotropin. The pituitary tumor cells secrete too much growth hormone (GH), leading to many changes in the body.

Time of occurrence: Before adolescence.

Causes: A pituitary gland tumor is almost always the cause of gigantism.

  1. Hyperactivity of the growth hormone producing acidophil cells of ant. pituitary gland.
  2. Acidophilic tumor.
  3. Neurofibromatosis is an inherited disorder.

Common symptoms include very large hands and feet, thick toes and fingers, a prominent jaw and forehead etc.

Clinical features

Skeletal change: Very long 8-9 feet

Soft tissue

  • Muscle and Viscera: Proportionately large,
  • All glands concerned with metabolism become enlarge and hyperactive,
  • Hyperglycemia, 10% of persons develop full-blown DM.

Biochemical: BMR is raised about 2% above the normal level.