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Eur J Endocrinol. 2003 Jan;148(1):31-8.

Twelve months of treatment with octreotide-LAR reduces joint thickness in acromegaly.

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Department of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology, Federico II University of Naples, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy.



To evaluate the role of age, gender, duration and control of acromegaly on the reversibility of arthropathy.


30 de novo patients with active acromegaly, 30 cured patients and 30 healthy subjects were studied in a tranverse and an open longitudinal study design.


Shoulder, wrist and knee thickening was measured by ultrasonography at study entry in all 90 subjects and after 12 Months of treatment with octreotide-LAR (OCT-LAR) at a dose of 10-40 mg every 28 days in the 30 de novo patients.


Thickness at all joint sites was greater in the active than in the cured patients and controls (P<0.001), and was greater in the cured patients than in the controls (P<0.001). There was no gender difference, but joint thickness was less in the patients with disease duration >10 Years. Age significantly correlated with wrist (r=-0.55; P<0.001), right knee (r=-0.45; P=0.01), and left knee thickness (r=-0.42; P=0.02) in patients with active disease, and with wrist thickness (r=0.88; P<0.0001) in controls. Twelve Months of OCT-LAR treatment led to disease control in 18 patients (60%). There was a decrease in the thickness of the shoulder (15.1+/-3.2%), wrist (20.5+/-3.1%), right knee (22.2+/-3.4%) and left knee (18.2+/-2.8%) in all patients but the reduction in joint thickness at all sites was greater in the patients with controlled disease after OCT-LAR treatment than in the uncontrolled patients (P<0.01). Shoulder and right knee thickening normalized in respectively 11 (61.1%) and 16 (88.9%) well-controlled patients.


Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) suppression by 12 Months' OCT-LAR treatment is accompanied by a significant decrease in the thickness of both weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing joints (mainly in patients whose disease is controlled) regardless of disease duration. These findings suggest that tIssue hypertrophy in the context of the acromegalic arthropathy can be improved by suppressing IGF-I levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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