Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Acromegaly and the Effect of Treatment: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Mar 1;105(3):dgz116. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgz116.


Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder characterized by upper airway collapse requiring nocturnal ventilatory assistance. Multiple studies have investigated the relationship between acromegaly and OSA, reporting discordant results.

Aim: To conduct a meta-analysis on the risk for OSA in acromegaly, and in particular to assess the role of disease activity and the effect of treatments.

Methods and study selection: A search through literature databases retrieved 21 articles for a total of 24 studies (n = 734). Selected outcomes were OSA prevalence and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) in studies comparing acromegalic patients with active (ACT) vs inactive (INACT) disease and pretreatment and posttreatment measures. Factors used for moderator and meta-regression analysis included the percentage of patients with severe OSA, patient sex, age, body mass index, levels of insulin-like growth factor 1, disease duration and follow-up, and therapy.

Results: OSA prevalence was similar in patients with acromegaly who had ACT and INACT disease (ES = -0.16; 95% CI, -0.47 to 0.15; number of studies [k] = 10; P = 0.32). In addition, AHI was similar in ACT and INACT acromegaly patients (ES = -0.03; 95% CI, -0.49 to 0.43; k = 6; P = 0.89). When AHI was compared before and after treatment in patients with acromegaly (median follow-up of 6 months), a significant improvement was observed after treatment (ES = -0.36; 95% CI, -0.49 to -0.23; k = 10; P < 0.0001). In moderator analysis, the percentage of patients with severe OSA in the populations significantly influenced the difference in OSA prevalence (P = 0.038) and AHI (P = 0.04) in ACT vs INACT patients.

Conclusion: Prevalence of OSA and AHI is similar in ACT and INACT patients in cross-sectional studies. However, when AHI was measured longitudinally before and after treatment, a significant improvement was observed after treatment.

Keywords: acromegaly; cardiovascular; comorbidities; respiratory; sleep apnea.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / complications
  • Acromegaly / therapy*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / etiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome