Acromegaly and the cardiovascular system

Neuroendocrinology. 2006;83(3-4):211-7. doi: 10.1159/000095530.


Acromegaly is characterized by an increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In fact, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I excess induces a specific cardiomyopathy. The heart is involved from the very early stages of the disease in which the hyperkinetic syndrome (high heart rate and increased systolic output) takes place. Frequently, if the disease is untreated for many years or unsuccessfully treated, concentric biventricular hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction can develop and, at least, lead to diastolic congestive heart failure. Rhythm disturbances and valve dysfunction are also frequently described in acromegaly. The coexistence of other complications, such as diabetes and arterial hypertension, can induce the worsening of acromegalic cardiomyopathy. Control of acromegaly by surgery or pharmacotherapy could improve cardiovascular morbidity thanks to decreasing left ventricular mass and reducing cardiac dysfunction. In conclusion, an early diagnosis and a careful evaluation of cardiac function, morphology and activity seem to be mandatory in acromegaly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / complications*
  • Acromegaly / metabolism
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Cardiomyopathies / etiology*
  • Cardiomyopathies / metabolism
  • Human Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Somatomedins / metabolism
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism


  • Somatomedins
  • Human Growth Hormone