Difference Between Acromegaly and Gigantism (With Table)

 Two diseases with the same mechanism and very similar manifestations are gigantism and acromegaly. While the disease process is the same, all of them have an entirely different result only because of the starting age. The outcome is gigantism, as the mechanism of the disease begins in infancy. Acromegaly is the outcome as puberty begins the disease mechanism. This paper would address the disease mechanism and clinical characteristics, signs, causes, study, diagnosis, and prognosis of acromegaly and gigantism.

Acromegaly vs Gigantism

The difference between acromegaly and gigantism is that acromegaly is the growth hormone over secretion that starts with age. The death rate of acromegaly is two to three times that of the population as a whole. Until epiphysis fusion at puberty, gigantism can start at any era. Gigantism is an exaggeration of the growth hormone that occurs in infancy.

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. The signs of acromegaly are also identical but occur only later in life. The death rate of acromegaly is two to three times that of the population as a whole.

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. Gigantism is very rare, with just 100 cases recorded up to this stage. Until epiphysis fusion at puberty, gigantism can start at any era. Headache, vision impairment, obesity, articulate pain, and heavy sweating are present.

Comparison Table Between Acromegaly and Gigantism

Parameters of Comparison AcromegalyGigantism
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 hands and feet are swelling. The growth of coarse body hair and darkened thick skin include more improvements in look. Body glands increase the production of size and sweat. The sweat rise adds to poor body smell occasionally.

The mandibular tongue may also change shape and scale. Problems with the nerves may also grow. The measurement and observation of elevated levels of growth hormones in the blood plasma as well as CT or MRI scans will diagnose acromegaly. These scans can display an over-secretion of a hyperphysical tumor.

The disease is caused by a growth hormone hyper-secure which begins after epiphysis is closed in adulthood. It may arise from a non-carcinogenic hyperphysical tumor or a non-hyperphysical tumor in another area of the brain, lungs, or pancreas. The occurrence of cardiomyopathy, where the heart is enlarged, leads to heart failure, is one of the major complications of acromegaly.

The respiratory system and lipid and glucose metabolism can also be more and more problematic. Chirurgical surgery with the removal of the tumor is possible, and radiation treatment can also be helpful. Octreotide can also be used to decrease the amount of growth hormone secreted, but other drugs can be used, which simply block hormone receptors. The latter then prevents the hormone’s effects.

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. Muscles, organs, and bones expand unusually so that for their developmental age, children are larger, much larger than normal.

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. Patients may also feel sleepy and thicken their facial characteristics. A child with an insulin-like growth hormone and growth factor (IGF-1) was shown to be higher in a blood test.

The presence of a pituitary adenoma can be seen by an MRI scan or CT scan. This tumor is also activated by the benign, non-cancerous growth hormone of the pituitary gland. Any syndromes, including McCune-Albright and the Carney complex, can also affect the disorder. The disease may also be caused by neurofibromatosis and some endocrine neoplasms.

Treatment can cause metabolic complications, such as glucose and lipid metabolism. If not treated, cardiovascular problems can increase later in life. Gigantism is mostly treated with medication that helps to reduce the growth hormone overproduction or blocks the hormone’s binding receptors. As well as radiation therapy is occasionally used.

Main Differences Between Acromegaly and Gigantism 

  1. Acromegaly is affected by a lung or other brain tumor that is non-cancerous or non-hyperphysical, whereas the causes of gigantism are the tumors of the pituitary non-cancer, McCune-Albright syndrome.
  2. Acromegaly is not the effect of the gonads (reproductive organs), given that the individual is an adult when the disorder begins, whereas gonads are influenced by gigantism as the individual is a child at the beginning of the issue.
  3. After puberty and during maturity, acromegaly progresses so that it does not begin, whereas puberty gigantism occurs and will also prolong the onset of puberty.
  4.  Gigantism is quite uncommon, whereas acromegaly is common.
  5. An individual with acromegaly has no higher height as the disorder begins in adulthood, whereas an individual with gigantism has increased, and it is already increasing in children.

Conclusion

Acromegaly and gigantism are all too highly secured environments for growth hormones. Acromegaly is an adult condition that does not impair the growth of the gonads. Gigantism is a childhood condition before the growth plates of bones are joined, and puberty is affected. The medicines and potential operation to remove a tumor will cure all disorders if this is the cause. Owing to the limited number of cases, mortality rates for childhood gigantism are not identified. Gigantism can begin at any age before epiphyseal fusion in puberty.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/humu.23121
  2. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-abstract/8/12/1013/2720311
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