Acromegaly

  • Definition

    Acromegaly is a chronic metabolic disorder in which there is too much growth hormone and the body tissues gradually enlarge.


    Alternative Names

    Somatotroph adenoma; Growth hormone excess; Pituitary giant


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Acromegaly occurs in about 6 of every 100,000 adults. It is caused by abnormal production of growth hormone after the skeleton and other organs finish growing.

    Excessive production of growth hormone in children causes gigantism rather than acromegaly.

    The cause of the increased growth hormone release is usually a noncancerous (benign) tumor of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland, which is located just below the brain, controls the production and release of several different hormones, including growth hormone.