Acromegaly is a rare disease, similar to gigantism, generally caused by a pituitary adenoma. It was described for the first time by Pierre Marie (1853-1940) in an article published in 1886, although other cases had been reported before, between the 18th and the 19th centuries, also in the 16th century, especially in the field of teratology. In the same article Marie proposed three hypotheses on the pathogenesis of this disease, without involving the pituitary gland. However, in the following years, research intensified all over Europe, other clinical cases were reported, and a debate was opened, thanks to which the cause of acromegaly was identified in a pituitary alteration, and the nature of this alteration was recognized. In the present article this debate is reconstructed, considering the authoritative contributions made by Augusto Tamburini (1848-1919), when he was head of the asylum in Reggio Emilia. Tamburini argued that acromegaly is caused by a hyperfunctioning pituitary adenoma on the basis of anatomical evidence and the experiments carried out by his colleagues, the pathologist Giulio Vassale (1862-1913) and the surgeon Ercole Sacchi, who demonstrated the vital importance of the pituitary gland and its secretions. Tamburini stimulated attention and research on acromegaly in other centres in Italy, among his pupils and colleagues, and his private library, now in the Polytechnical University of Marche in Ancona, represents a precious collection to study this and other aspects of medicine between the 19th and the 20th centuries.
Augusto Tamburini (1848-1919) and his Contributions to Acromegaly / Fortuna, Stefania. - In: CONFINIA CEPHALALGICA. - ISSN 1122-0279. - STAMPA. - 32:2(2022), pp. 8-12.