A rare condition that causes unusual growth and other symptoms in children.


With gigantism, the body makes too much growth hormone during childhood. Growth is controlled by hormones made by the pituitary gland. Most often, gigantism happens because a tumor of the pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone. This type of tumor is called a pituitary adenoma. It is not cancer.


A child with gigantism may grow much taller or larger than other children of the same age. Puberty may be delayed. A prominent forehead, a broad nose, thick lips and an enlarged tongue may develop. The jaw may bulge. Gaps may form between teeth. The hands and feet may be large and thick. Headaches, vision loss, high blood pressure or diabetes may develop.


Most often, gigantism treatment involves surgery to remove the tumor of the pituitary gland. Sometimes, surgery can't be done or the tumor can't be completely removed. So other treatments may be used. Some types of radiation therapy can shrink the tumor. Medicines can lower growth hormone levels or block the hormone's effect on the body.