Acromegaly: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2022 Nov;10(11):804-826. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(22)00244-3. Epub 2022 Oct 6.


Growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas that cause acromegaly arise as monoclonal expansions of differentiated somatotroph cells and are usually sporadic. They are almost invariably benign, yet they can be locally invasive and show progressive growth despite treatment. Persistent excess of both growth hormone and its target hormone insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) results in a wide array of cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neurological, and neoplastic comorbidities that might not be reversible with disease control. Normalisation of IGF-1 and growth hormone are the primary therapeutic aims; additional treatment goals include tumour shrinkage, relieving symptoms, managing complications, reducing excess morbidity, and improving quality of life. A multimodal approach with surgery, medical therapy, and (more rarely) radiation therapy is required to achieve these goals. In this Review, we examine the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, complications, and treatment of acromegaly, with an emphasis on the importance of tailoring management strategies to each patient to optimise outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly* / diagnosis
  • Acromegaly* / epidemiology
  • Acromegaly* / etiology
  • Adenoma* / diagnosis
  • Adenoma* / epidemiology
  • Adenoma* / therapy
  • Growth Hormone
  • Human Growth Hormone*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Quality of Life


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Growth Hormone