Growth-Hormone-Secreting Pituitary Adenomas

  • Ivor M. D. Jackson


Acromegaly is a rare endocrinopathy that is estimated to occur with a frequency of one in 5000–15,000 patients.1 The term, derived from the Greek akron (extremity) and megale (great), was first used by Marie2 in 1886 to describe two patients with a syndrome in which hypertrophy of the extremities was the most striking clinical feature. His clinical description delineated the classic features of this condition, viz., marked enlargement of the hands and feet, prognathism, macroglossia, thickened skin associated with headache, joint pain, and lethargy. Although a relationship to the pituitary was postulated, Marie interpreted autopsy findings of a pituitary tumor in acromegaly as evidence of adenohypophyseal insufficiency (for a historical review, see Lawrence. 3 ). It was Harvey Cushing4 who in 1909 first used the term ‘‘hyperpituitarism” in relation to acromegaly, and his concept was provided with a firm scientific basis following the demonstration by Evans and Long that gigantism could be produced in rats by injection of a pituitary gland extract.


Pituitary Adenoma Pituitary Tumor Carpal Tunnel Trigeminal Neuralgia Acromegalic Patient 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivor M. D. Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Tufts-New England Medical Center HospitalTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA

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