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PURPOSE: Tall stature is defined as height greater than the threshold of more than 2 standard deviations above the average population height for age, sex, and ethnicity. Many studies have described the main aspects of this condition during puberty, but an analysis of the characteristics that the physician should consider in the differential diagnosis of gigantism-tall stature secondary to a pituitary tumour-during the transition age (15-25 years) is still lacking. METHODS: A comprehensive search of English-language original articles was conducted in the MEDLINE database (December 2021-March 2022). We selected all studies regarding epidemiology, genetic aspects, and the diagnosis of tall stature and gigantism during the transition age. RESULTS: Generally, referrals for tall stature are not as frequent as expected because most cases are familial and are usually unreported by parents and patients to endocrinologists. For this reason, lacking such experience of tall stature, familiarity with many rarer overgrowth syndromes is essential. In the transition age, it is important but challenging to distinguish adolescents with high constitutional stature from those with gigantism. Pituitary gigantism is a rare disease in the transition age, but its systemic complications are very relevant for future health. Endocrine evaluation is crucial for identifying conditions that require hormonal treatment so that they can be treated early to improve the quality of life and prevent comorbidities of individual patient in this age range. CONCLUSION: The aim of our review is to provide a practical clinical approach to recognise adolescents, potentially affected by gigantism, as early as possible.

Original publication




Journal article


J Endocrinol Invest

Publication Date



GH, Gigantism, Tall stature, Transition age