A rare, chronic disease caused by excessive secretion of growth hormone (GH), usually due to a pituitary somatotroph adenoma. It is associated with increased morbidity and premature mortality.
The diagnosis is often delayed. Early recognition and appropriate treatment are crucial for reducing the potentially debilitating complications of the disease.
Must be screened for in the presence of acral growth, coarsening of facial features, and when suspected in conjunction with commonly associated conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthralgia, glucose intolerance or diabetes, amenorrhoea, HTN, and sleep apnoea.
Modern surgical and pharmacological modalities are associated with improved outcomes. While the overall mortality ratio remains increased (1.6-fold compared with the general population), normalisation of plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and a decrease of plasma GH to below 1 microgram/L (1 nanogram/mL) bring the mortality rate to normal.
Monitoring and treatment of the comorbidities associated with acromegaly are essential for improving the quality of life of patients.
The term acromegaly is derived from the Greek akros (meaning extremity) and megas (large). It refers to the characteristic growth of extremities, which describes one aspect of the disease. Acromegaly is a chronic, progressive, multi-systemic disease associated with significant morbidity and increased mortality. It is caused by excessive secretion of growth hormone, usually due to a pituitary somatotroph adenoma. Gigantism occurs with disease onset in childhood (prior to epiphyseal closure).
Professor of Medicine and Neurosurgery
University of Michigan
AB has received lecturing fees and research support from Novartis and Ipsen and is an author of several references cited in this monograph.
Professor Ariel Barkan would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Omar Serri and Dr Sophie Vallette, the previous contributors to this monograph. OS has received lecturing and educational program fees from Novartis Canada and is an author of a reference cited in this monograph. SV has received fees for lecturing and attending a symposium and is an author of a reference cited in this monograph.
Consultant Endocrinologist & Honorary Senior Lecturer
Department of Endocrinology
Leeds Centre for Diabetes & Endocrinology
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
St James’s University Hospital
RDM declares that he has no competing interests.
Senior Vice President and Dean
Cedars Sinai Medical Center
SM has research grants of over 6 figures USD. SM is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph.
Professor and Chief
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
LK declares that he has no competing interests.
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