Early detection and diagnosis of acromegaly followed by appropriate treatment can help prevent the development of serious or more permanent complications.
- Step 1: Initial Suspicion Based on Clinical Features1
- Changes in physical appearance
- Decline in overall health
- Step 2: Confirmation of Disease Through Biochemical Testing2
- GH measurement through OGTT
- Random GH testing
- Step 3: Locating the Pituitary Tumor1,3
- MRI or CT
Recommended algorithm for the diagnosis of acromegaly3
The difficulty of early diagnosis results from several challenges4,5:
- Since symptoms develop gradually, time is required for them to be recognized by patients and physicians
- Patients may exhibit a variety of different clinical signs and symptoms, since they may have any combination of the common symptoms
CT, computerized tomography; GH, growth hormone; GHRH, growth hormone–releasing hormone; IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor-1; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; OGTT, oral glucose tolerance test.
1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Acromegaly. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2008. NIH publication 08-3924. 2. Lugo G, Pena L, Cordido F. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of acromegaly. Int J Endocrinol. 2012:540398. doi: 10.1155/2012/540398. 3. Melmed S. Medical progress: acromegaly. N Engl J Med. 2006;355(24):2558-2573. 4. Molitch ME. Clinical manifestations of acromegaly. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1992;21(3):597-614. 5. Chanson P, Salenave S. Acromegaly. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2008;3:1-17.
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