Lisa Nachtigall, MD, Clinical Director, Neuroendocrine and Pituitary Clinical Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School discusses acromegaly and pituitary tumors.

Acromegaly is a rare disorder caused by a noncancerous tumor on the pituitary gland, which is located just below the brain. The pituitary gland controls many body functions, including growth, metabolism and reproductive function.

In acromegaly, a tumor that grows on the pituitary gland produces too much GH, which can prompt the liver to overproduce IGF-1. Too much GH or IGF-1 in the bloodstream signals the body to grow, and can result in a wide range of signs and symptoms.

The growth hormone disorder acromegaly is usually caused by a pituitary tumor. These tumors are always benign (that is, non-cancerous). About 95% of cases of acromegaly are caused by a benign pituitary tumor. The other 5% of cases are caused by non-pituitary tumors; those tumors, usually located in other parts of the brain, the pancreas, or the lungs, can cause the body to secrete too much growth hormone.

To learn more about acromegaly and other endocrine disorders, visit