Acromegaly. Clinical and biochemical features in 500 patients

Medicine (Baltimore). 1994 Sep;73(5):233-40.


This prospective study defines the clinical and biochemical features of acromegaly in a large cohort of patients. There was no difference in sex distribution, and for men and women the mean ages at diagnosis (40 +/- 12 and 40 +/- 14 yr, respectively) were similar. Nearly three-quarters of patients were overweight and some 12% severely overweight; the frequency and severity of obesity also was not different between the sexes. Half of patients were hypertensive or were taking anti-hypertensive drugs. Neither GH nor insulin levels were significantly different between normotensive and hypertensive patients. Acral growth and facial coarsening, soft tissue swelling, and excessive perspiration were present in the majority (98%) of patients. Mean serum GH, Sm-C, and PRL levels did not differ between the sexes. Sm-C levels correlated with mean GH concentration (r = 0.31, p < 0.001), both variables inversely related to age. With each decade of life, mean GH and Sm-C levels declined by 7.6 +/- 0.2 ng/mL and 0.5 +/- 0.2 U/mL, respectively. Impaired glucose tolerance was diagnosed in 36% and frank diabetes mellitus in 30% of patients. Hyperprolactinemia was noted in 18% of patients. Galactorrhea was noted in 43 (9%) patients, most of whom were female; the mean GH levels of patients with galactorrhea (60.1 +/- 13 ng/mL) were higher than those of patients without (35.4 +/- 2.6 ng/mL, p = 0.02). Acromegaly appears to afflict men and women equally with a preponderance of presentation in the fourth decade of life.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / blood
  • Acromegaly / complications
  • Acromegaly / etiology
  • Acromegaly / physiopathology*
  • Adenoma / complications
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Hyperprolactinemia / etiology
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / complications


  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone