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Eur Heart J. 1992 Jan;13(1):51-6.

Arrhythmia profile in acromegaly.

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  • 1IIIrd. Department of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg-University Hospital, Mainz, Germany.


In a controlled study, the cardiac involvement and arrhythmia profile of 32 patients with acromegaly were correlated with endocrine parameters (somatomedine C, growth hormone), clinical score and duration of the disease. Data were compared with those of 50 controls free of cardiac disease. Stress ECG, 24 h Holter monitoring and echocardiography were performed. Supraventricular premature complexes occurred no more often in acromegalics than in controls. Both prevalence and severity of ventricular arrhythmia, however, were significantly higher in patients compared to controls (P less than 0.01). 15/32 (48%) acromegalic patients had complex ventricular arrhythmias (Lown III-IV) as compared with 6/50 (12%) normal subjects (P less than 0.01). Repetitive ventricular arrhythmias (Lown IV a/b) occurred in 10/32 (31%) patients, but only in 4/50 (8%) controls (P less than 0.01). Furthermore, the frequency of ventricular premature complexes increased with duration of acromegaly (P less than 0.01). No correlation was found between the severity of ventricular arrhythmia and hormone levels. Left ventricular muscle mass was significantly increased (285 +/- 139 g, P less than 0.02) due to concentric hypertrophy. Severity of ventricular arrhythmias correlated with left ventricular mass and with clinical activity score (P less than 0.01). Thus, compared to controls, acromegalic patients show more frequent and complex ventricular arrhythmias and left ventricular hypertrophy. Duration of the disease rather than hormone levels seems to be relevant for these pathological changes.

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