Pierre Marie coined the term 'acromegaly' in 1886 and linked it to a distinct clinical disease with a characteristic clinical picture. However, Pierre Marie was not the first physician to give a full record of the clinical picture of acromegaly; others had preceded him, like the Dutch physician Johannes Wier. After Marie, pituitary enlargement was noted in almost all patients with acromegaly. Subsequently it was discovered that pituitary hyperfunction caused by a pituitary tumour was indeed the cause of acromegaly. The cause of acromegaly could be further determined after the discovery of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and after demonstrating an association with GH hypersecretion and elevated circulating IGF-I. From the beginning of the 20th century, acromegaly could be treated by pituitary surgery and/or radiotherapy. After 1970, medical therapies were introduced that could control acromegaly. First, dopamine agonists were introduced, followed by somatostatin analogues and GH receptor blockers.

Acromegaly, Gigantism, Growth hormone, Pituitary surgery
dx.doi.org/10.1159/000371808, hdl.handle.net/1765/87940
Neuroendocrinology: international journal for basic and clinical studies on neuroendocrine relationships
Department of Internal Medicine

de Herder, W.W. (2016). The History of Acromegaly. Neuroendocrinology: international journal for basic and clinical studies on neuroendocrine relationships (Vol. 103, pp. 7–17). doi:10.1159/000371808