The most common cause of acromegaly and gigantism is the development of a noncancerous tumor within the pituitary, called a pituitary adenoma.
Once a pituitary adenoma has been removed, radiotherapy and/or medication may be recommended to prevent a recurrence of the tumor.
Some patients who cannot undergo surgery are treated with radiation therapy to the pituitary in an attempt to shrink the adenoma.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful for viewing the pituitary gland and for identifying and locating an adenoma.
As the adenoma grows, it may disrupt other pituitary tissue, interfering with the release of other hormones.
When no adenoma can be located, the search for a GHRH-producing tumor in another location begins.
The first step in treatment of acromegaly is removal of all or part of the pituitary adenoma.