The oral glucose tolerance test, which is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of active acromegaly, should not be performed in the presence of basal hyperglycemia. Moreover, false-positive responses may occur in patients with diabetes mellitus. Galanin has previously been demonstrated to induce paradoxical inhibition of growth hormone (GH) secretion in most patients with active acromegaly. In this study, we assessed GH response to galanin infusion in a series of 17 consecutive patients with active acromegaly, 7 of whom had coexistent type 2 diabetes mellitus and 10 were without either diabetes mellitus or impaired tolerance to glucose. 6 acromegalic patients with diabetes mellitus (85.7%) and 7 without diabetes (70.0%) showed a decrease in serum GH values during galanin infusion (chi2 0.9; p = 0.6). The GH nadir occurred at a comparable time in the two groups of acromegalic patients. Moreover, the two groups showed no significant difference (p = 0.45) in DeltaGH during galanin infusion. Galanin infusion did not induce any significant change in plasma glucose levels in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients with acromegaly. The results of our study provide evidence that the galanin test may be of value for the diagnosis of acromegaly in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.