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Classification and external resources
A man with acromegaly. The forehead is bigger than normal which is called frontal bossing.
eMedicinemed/27 derm/593

Acromegaly is a medical condition that happens when the anterior (rear) pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone (GH), after a person has passed puberty. If this happens before puberty it causes a condition known as gigantism. A number of medical conditions may cause the pituitary gland to make too much growth hormone, but the most common cause is a tumor on the pituitary gland called a pituitary adenoma'

Acromegaly is most commonly diagnosed in middle aged adults, and can result in severe disfigurement, serious complicating conditions, and early death if not treated. Acromegaly is hard to diagnose when it is just beginning. It is usually not found until 10–12 years after it starts. This is when it causes changes in the way a person looks, especially their face.[1]

Signs and symptoms[change | change source]

  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Hirsutism (in women): the growth of hair on the face.[2]
  • Frontal bossing: the bone underneath the forehead becomes bigger than normal.
  • Prognathism: part of the face sticks out more than normal usually the lower jaw.
  • Fatigue: the person is often tired.
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin tags: Small wart-like growth on the skin which is not cancerous.
  • Hyperhidrosis: when a person sweats too much.[3]
  • Bromhidrosis: Body odor
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Enlargement of hands and feet
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Colonic cancer

References[change | change source]

  1. Shlomo Melmed: The Pituitary. p.433
  2. Androgen Excess Disorders in Women. Editor; Ricardo Azziz; p. 87 (Springer)
  3. Handbook of Growth and Growth Monitoring in Health and Disease. Editor: Victor R. Preed. p.124