What is this?

Acromegaly is the result of an increase in the secretion of growth hormone (somathormone GH) by the pituitary gland. This increase in secretion is secondary to a benign tumor of the pituitary gland (adenoma of the pituitary gland).

Signs of the disease

It is a rare disease affecting about 40 people out of a million, mainly women aged 30 to 40, but also men.

Additional examinations and analyzes


Growth hormone will resonate on the skeleton, soft tissues and metabolisms causing rheumatological, cardiovascular and metabolic complications (especially diabetes).

A distinction is necessary for the bone manifestations between the child and the adult

In children, excess growth hormone causes an acceleration of growth with gigantism so long as the cartilages are not welded.

In adults, with long bone growth completed, excess GH results in a thickening of the short and flat bones.

The changes appear gradually and it is the interest of the photos that make it possible to compare the state of the patient a few months ago

The increase in volume of the hypoprosis located at the base of the skull in the sella turcica will cause compression problems in the chiasma optic (zone where the optic nerves pass between the eyes and the brain): frontal headaches , Visual impairment leading to blindness.

The goal of the treatment is to decrease the rate of GH.

Growth hormone-inhibiting drugs (octreotide or sandostatin® subcutaneously, lanreotide or Somatuline® intramuscularly), given at regular intervals, inhibit growth hormone secretion.

Frequency treatment with bromocriptine (Parlodel) is sometimes used.

The surgical removal of the tumor is transsphenoidal (ie, by entering the brain via the nasal cavity.) This minimally traumatic procedure removes the pituitary but leads to pituitary insufficiency after surgery and Diabetes insipidus which require hormone replacement therapy and is practiced in principle in patients with visual impairment.

Radiotherapy is sometimes used in elderly patients who are reluctant to operate

The tumor of the pituitary can also be attacked by cryotherapy or implantation of radioactive isotope. It is in any case followed by a replacement therapy to compensate for deficiencies caused by hypophysectomy (hypopituitarism): cortisone, thyroid extracts, gonadal hormones.

Rapid increase in sizes of gloves, hat, shoes, rings ... Hypertrophy of the nose, ears, tongue: projection of the brow arches, large nostrils, big hands ...; Cervico-dorsal cyphosis with protrusion Sternum (double bump of polichinelle), scoliosis ... Lassitude ... Sweating, abundant hairs ... Bone pain (acromegalic rheumatism), arthrosis ... Hypertension, heart failure, heart, Impotence, Amenorrhea, galactorrhea.