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Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Primary adrenal insufficiency
Adrenal cortical carcinoma
Thyroglossal duct cyst
Thyroid eye disease (NORD)
Toxic multinodular goiter
Euthyroid sick syndrome
Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis
Growth hormone deficiency
Constitutional growth delay
Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)
Premature ovarian failure
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Androgen insensitivity syndrome
Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (NORD)
Multiple endocrine neoplasia
Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms
Opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome (NORD)
Adrenal insufficiency: Pathology review
Adrenal masses: Pathology review
Hyperthyroidism: Pathology review
Hypothyroidism: Pathology review
Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer: Pathology review
Parathyroid disorders and calcium imbalance: Pathology review
Diabetes mellitus: Pathology review
Cushing syndrome and Cushing disease: Pathology review
Pituitary tumors: Pathology review
Hypopituitarism: Pathology review
Diabetes insipidus and SIADH: Pathology review
Multiple endocrine neoplasia: Pathology review
Neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal system: Pathology review
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Sam Gillespie, BSc
Tanner Marshall, MS
With gigantism, “gigant” refers to giant, so gigantism is a rare hormonal disorder in children and adolescents where there is an excess of growth hormone, and it causes rapid and excessive growth of long bones, like the tibia and humerus.
As an example, the French wrestler André the Giant who played Fezzik in the movie The Princess Bride had gigantism.
In adults, excess growth hormone causes a different disorder, called acromegaly, because their long bones have stopped growing.
Let’s start with how growth hormone, or somatotropin, is made.
Normally, the hypothalamus which is at the base of the brain, secretes growth hormone-releasing hormone in bursts throughout the day - every couple hours, and this can increase based on things like low blood glucose levels, lack of food, increased exercise, increased sleep, and increased stress like trauma.
The growth hormone-releasing hormone goes into the hypophyseal portal system - which is a network of capillaries linking the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary which is smaller in size than a pea.
The growth hormone-releasing hormone binds to a surface protein on somatotroph and mammosomatotroph cells of the anterior pituitary gland, and in response, they release growth hormone.
Now, growth hormone affects lots of tissues directly and indirectly throughout the body.
Direct effects occur in certain tissues where growth hormone stimulates cellular metabolism and leads to organ growth.
Gigantism is a hormonal disorder that results in an individual growing to an excessive size. The condition is caused by the overproduction of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1, usually due to a tumor on the pituitary gland.
Symptoms of gigantism include excessive growth, particularly in the facial area and hands; a deep, hoarse voice; and enlarged organs. Gigantism is also associated with other health problems, including heart disease, joint pain, and diabetes.
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