Gigantism is a disease that is accompanied by increased production growth hormone in the anterior pituitary gland (adenohypophysis), which leads to excessive growth of the limbs and the entire body. Symptoms of gigantism are most often manifested in boys aged 7-10 years, or during puberty, and develops throughout the entire growth period. The growth indicators of the child exceed the norms of this gender and age, and by the end of puberty can reach 2 m in men and 1.90 m in women, while maintaining a proportionate physique. The frequency of manifestations of gigantism is 1-3 people per 1000 population. Gigantism is usually accompanied by fatigue and headaches, gradual memory impairment and sexual dysfunction. With gigantism, concomitant can also be observed endocrine disorders, namely: diabetes, hypo or hyperthyroidismdisorders of carbohydrate metabolism.
The basis of gigantism is increased production of the pituitary gland growth hormone, the reasons for which are: hereditary predisposition, tumors of the adenohypophysis (pituitary adenoma), infectious diseases of the central nervous system (meningitis, encephalitis, abscess), head injuries and poisoning by toxins. Another cause of the disease of gigantism may be a decrease in the sensitivity of the receptors of the cartilage tissue, where the growth zone of the bone is located, to sex hormones, as a result of which the zone remains open, i.e. capable of further growth and after the end of puberty.
Symptoms of Gigantism
The main symptoms of gigantism are the patient's complaints about high growthexcessive growth rate, pain in joints and bones, muscle weakness, decreased performance in school, often - to a decrease in vision (myopia, farsightedness, astigmatism) Disorders in the thyroid and pancreas can also be observed.
The diagnosis of gigantism
To make a diagnosis of gigantism, the endocrinologist examines the patient, prescribes a study of X-ray of the skull, and computed and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, which can be used to identify tumors in the pituitary gland. With a growing tumor in patients, vision often worsens, so an ophthalmic examination can also be prescribed, which will reveal visual field limitations and congestion in the fundus. Diagnosis of gigantism also includes laboratory blood tests. A blood test result will show an increased level concentration growth hormone.
The treatment of gigantism
Used to treat gigantism conservative and surgical treatment methods. To normalize the level of growth hormone in the body and accelerate the closure of bone growth zones, patients with gigantism are prescribed hormone therapy consisting of a course somatostatin and sex hormones. Surgical treatment methods include radiation therapy to remove the pituitary adenoma, or its surgical removal, in combination with medical support dopamine agonists (parlodel, dostinex) A complex treatment of gigantism is currently being used, which combines radiation and hormonal therapy, which allows for significant improvement in a large number of patients with gigantism.
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The basis for the prevention of gigantism is the fight against epidemic diseasesthat can disrupt the growth process. It is also important to avoid excessive intake of vitamins and timely treat peripheral endocrine disorders in children, especially sexual infantilism. As the prevention of gigantism, scheduled examinations of young men aged 13-16 are carried out to identify signs of gigantism. Timely detection of the first symptoms of gigantism can contribute to its complete cure.
List of sources
- Clinical endocrinology. Leadership / N. T. Starkova. - 3rd edition, revised and supplemented. - St. Petersburg: Peter, 2002 .-- S. 46-62. - 576 p.
- Endocrinology / ed. N. Avalanche. - M.: Medicine, 2009 .-- 832 p.
- Acromegaly and gigantism: A. S. Ametov, E. V. Doskina - St. Petersburg, GEOTAR-Media, 2010 - 156 p.