Growth hormone (GH) controls the growth of soft tissue and bone. Elevated GH causes an excess of bone and soft tissue growth. In adults, this can cause the rare disorders acromegaly. It can cause serious complications and early death if not treated.
In young children, bone fusion and growth is still occurring. Excess GH can cause a similar condition called gigantism.
The pituitary gland is a small gland located at the base of the brain. It produces many hormones including GH.
In most cases, the elevation of GH is caused by a benign
of this gland. In a small number of cases, malignant tumors of other organs (pancreas, adrenal, lung) may be the source of excess GH.
Cook DM. AACE Acromegaly Guidelines Taskforce. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists medical guidelines for clinical practice for the diagnosis and treatment of acromegaly.
Glustina A, Barkan A, Casanueva FF, et al. Criteria for cure of acromegaly: a consensus statement.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab
Melmed S. Medical progress: acromegaly.
N Engl J Med
The Merck Manual of Medical Information
. Simon and Schuster; 2000.
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