Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that develops when your pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone during adulthood. When this happens, your bones increase in size, including those of your hands, feet and face. Acromegaly usually affects middle-aged adults.
In children who are still growing, too much growth hormone can cause a condition called gigantism. These children have exaggerated bone growth and an abnormal increase in height.
Because acromegaly is uncommon and physical changes occur gradually, the condition often isn't recognized immediately; sometimes not for years. If not treated promptly, acromegaly can lead to serious illness and even become life-threatening. However, available treatments for acromegaly can reduce your risk of complications and significantly improve your symptoms, including the enlargement of your features.
Feb. 05, 2013
- Acromegaly. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/acro/acro.htm. Accessed Oct. 31, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Nov. 2, 2012.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=1. Accessed Nov. 2, 2012.
- Minniti G, et al. Radiation techniques for acromegaly. Radiation Oncology. 2011;6:167.
- Giustina A, et al. A consensus on criteria for cure of acromegaly. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &Metabolism. 2010;95:3141.
- Ben-Shlomo A, et al. Clinical, quality of life, and economic value of acromegaly disease control. Pituitary. 2011;14:284.
- Parlodel (prescribing information). East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; 2012. http://www.pharma.us.novartis.com/product/pi/pdf/parlodel.pdf. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Cycloset (prescribing information). San Diego, Calif.: VeroScience, LLC; 2010. http://www.veroscience.com/CyclosetFDAapprovedPackageInsert.htm. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Cabergoline (prescribing information). Sellersville, Pa.: Teva Pharmaceuticals; 2012. http://www.tevagenerics.com/default.aspx?pageid=3364&sortby=ProductName&ProductName=Cabergoline+Tablets&BrandName=Dostinex%C2%AE+Tablets. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Martinkova J, et al. Impulse control disorders associated with dopaminergic medication in patients with pituitary adenomas. Clinical Neuropharmacology. 2011;34:179.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.