Acromegaly vs Gigantism: Difference and Comparison

 Gigantism and acromegaly are two diseases with the same mechanism and very similar manifestations. While the disease process is the same, all of them have entirely different results only because of the starting age.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Acromegaly is a condition that develops in adulthood, caused by excessive growth hormone production, leading to the enlargement of hands, feet, and facial features. In contrast, Gigantism is a condition that develops in childhood, also caused by excessive growth hormone production, leading to excessive growth.
  2. Gigantism can lead to taller stature than acromegaly, while acromegaly can lead to more prominent facial features than Gigantism.
  3. Gigantism can cause serious health problems, such as heart and joint problems, while acromegaly may cause milder symptoms and is detected later in life.

Acromegaly vs Gigantism

Acromegaly occurs after growth plate closure, leading to enlargement of bones and tissues, and involves thickening of the skin, joint pain, and organ enlargement. Gigantism occurs during childhood when growth plates are still open, leading to excessive height and size of the body.

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Acromegaly is the outcome as puberty begins the disease mechanism. More common than gigantism is acromegaly. It begins in around the 3rd decade of acromegaly.

Gigantism mortality rates in infancy are not understood because of the limited cases. The outcome is gigantism, as the mechanism of the disease begins in infancy.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAcromegalyGigantism
DefineAcromegaly is a disease in which the growth hormone secreted starts between the ages of 20 and 40 at some point.Gigantism is a condition in which the growth hormone secreted during infancy is excessive.
Life cycleDuring early to middle age, acromegaly progresses.During childhood, gigantism always occurs before the bones’ growth plate fusion.
FeaturesThe tongue also changes size and form in acromegaly, the jaw often emerges, and the lips thicken.The jaw is pronounced with gigantism, and the front rises.
HeightAn individual with acromegaly has no higher height as the disorder begins in adulthood.An individual with gigantism has increased, and it is already increasing in children.
 PubertyAfter puberty and during maturity, acromegaly progresses so that it does not begin.Until puberty, gigantism occurs and will also prolong the onset of puberty

What is Acromegaly?

Acromegaly is the oversecretion of the growth hormone of the hypophysis from 20 to 40 years of age. The first signs are facial changes and a rough appearance.

The measurement and observation of elevated levels of growth hormones in the blood plasma and CT or MRI scans will diagnose acromegaly.

It may arise from a non-carcinogenic hyperphysical tumour or a non-hyperphysical tumour in another area of the brain, lungs, or pancreas.

The respiratory system and lipid and glucose metabolism can also be more and more problematic. Chirurgical surgery with the removal of the tumour is possible, and radiation treatment can also be helpful.

acromegaly scaled

What is Gigantism?

Gigantism is a condition in which an accumulation of growth hormone in a person’s youth is released from the pituitary gland. It happens before the assembly and fusion of epiphyseal (growth) plates of bones.

Symptoms include blurred vision, delayed start of pubescent transitions, double vision, pronounced front and chin, elevated pull, and big hands and feet may be present.

The presence of a pituitary adenoma can be seen by an MRI scan or CT scan. This tumour is also activated by the benign, non-cancerous growth hormone of the pituitary gland.

Treatment can cause metabolic complications, such as glucose and lipid metabolism. If not treated, cardiovascular problems can increase later in life.

Main Differences Between Acromegaly and Gigantism 

  1.  Gigantism is quite uncommon, whereas acromegaly is common.
  2. An individual with acromegaly has no higher height as the disorder begins in adulthood, whereas an individual with gigantism has increased and is already increasing in children.

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