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Gigantism is a growth defect, similar to acromegaly, the difference between the two diseases being the period in which they occur: gigantism (or giantism) occurs during childhood and acromegaly appears in adulthood. Excessive growth hormone is almost always caused by a noncancerous (benign) pituitary tumor.The definition of acromegaly is a disease caused by noncancerous tumors in the pituitary gland that cause secretions of growth hormone. The difference between acromegaly and gigantism is that acromegaly occurs in adults, typically between the ages of 30 and 50.Gigantism refers to abnormally high linear growth due to excessive action of insulinlike growth factor I (IGF-I) while the epiphyseal growth plates are open during childhood. Acromegaly is the same disorder of IGF-I excess but occurs after the growth plate cartilage fuses in adulthood.