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Int J Endocrinol. 2012;2012:839282. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Osteoarticular changes in acromegaly.

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  • 15th Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Medical Faculty of Comenius University, Ružinovská 6, 821 06 Bratislava, Slovakia.


Acromegaly is caused by hypersecretion of growth hormone (GH) and consequently of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) due to pituitary tumor. Other causes, such as increased growth-hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) production, ectopic GHRH production, and ectopic GH secretion, are rare. Growth hormone and IGF-1 play a role in the regulation of bone metabolism, but accurate effect of growth hormone excess on bone is not fully explained. The issue of osteoarticular manifestations is still very actual, due to development of complications in the majority of patients with acromegaly. Traditionally, acromegaly is considered as a cause of secondary osteoporosis. Nowadays, it is discussed if BMD as predictor of osteoporotic fractures in acromegalic patient is decreased or even normal. Thus, bone quality remains to be more important in assessment of fracture risk. GH excess leads to increased bone turnover, defined by changes of bone markers. The articular manifestations are frequent clinical complications and may be present as the earliest symptom in a significant proportion of acromegalic patients. Articular manifestations are the main causes of morbidity and immobility of these patients, and they are persistent even after successful treatment. Quick recognition of osteoarticular changes and aiming the therapy lead to decrease in complication number.

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