Patients with acromegaly are reported to be at risk of developing adenomatous colonic polyps, which are considered to be preneoplastic lesions. This assumption is, however, usually drawn from results obtained in rather small series of patients or without a control group. We, therefore, undertook a prospective colonoscopic and pathological study comprising 103 acromegalic patients and 138 nonacromegalic control subjects referred for irritable bowel syndrome. The prevalence of adenomatous colonic polyps was significantly increased in acromegalic patients compared to that in control subjects (22.3% vs. 8.0%; P = 0.0024). The significance was similarly present in male acromegalic patients (28.6% vs. 5.5% in male control subjects; P = 0.0026), but was absent in female acromegalic patients. The prevalence of colonic polyps was also significantly increased in the group of acromegalic patients under 55 yr of age (20.0% vs. 3.0% in the control group of the same age; P = 0.0026). Other characteristics of adenomatous colonic polyps in acromegaly were the multiplicity and the presence proximal to the splenic flexure. No difference in the duration of acromegaly was found between patients with or without adenomatous polyps. The prevalence of hyperplastic colonic polyps was also significantly increased to 24.3% in acromegalic patients vs 4.4% in control subjects (P < 0.001). In conclusion, in view of the increased incidence of adenomatous colonic polyps, colonoscopy should be part of the follow-up examination in acromegaly.