Is elevated urotensin II level a predictor for increased cardiovascular risk in subjects with acromegaly?

J Endocrinol Invest. 2019 Feb;42(2):207-215. doi: 10.1007/s40618-018-0905-1. Epub 2018 May 26.


Purpose: Acromegaly is a rare disorder existed in the result of overproduction of growth hormone (GH). The disorder is associated with increased cardiovascular risk factors and metabolic abnormalities. Urotensin II (UII), a secreted vasoactive peptide hormone, belonging somatostatin superfamily, plays an essential role in atherosclerosis and glucose metabolism. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether circulating UII levels are altered in subjects with acromegaly, and to describe the relationship between UII and hormonal or cardiometabolic parameters.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 41 subjects with active acromegaly, 28 subjects with controlled acromegaly, and 37 age- and BMI-matched controls without acromegaly. Hormonal and metabolic features of the subjects as well as carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) and epicardial fat thickness (EFT) were defined. Circulation of UII levels was determined via ELISA.

Results: Both active and controlled acromegalic subjects showed a significant elevation of circulating levels of UII with respect to controls. There was no remarkable difference in circulating levels of UII between active and controlled acromegalic groups. Both cIMT and EFT were remarkably increased in acromegaly subjects comparing to controls. UII positively correlated with cIMT, EFT, BMI, and HOMA-IR. There was no correlation between UII and GH, insulin-like growth factor-1. According to the results obtained from regression models, UII levels independently predicted cIMT and EFT.

Conclusion: Elevated UII levels are associated with severity of cardiovascular risk factors including cIMT and EFT in acromegalic subjects.

Keywords: Acromegaly; Carotid intima media thickness; Epicardial fat thickness; Insulin resistance; Urotensin II.

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / blood
  • Acromegaly / complications*
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Urotensins / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Urotensins
  • urotensin II