It is a disorder that results from excessive growth hormone after growth plates have closed.A Rare Disease of the Pituitary Glands in the Brain Prominent in arms and legs (acral plates).
Thickened heel-pads, broadening of hands and feet, increased size of ring finger and shoe size.Headache, double-vision, lethargy, diminished-vision, thickening of skull protruding supraorbital ridges, coarsening facial features, increased blood sugar levels, enlargements of visceral organs.
In 98% of all reported cases, acromegaly is caused by an adenoma (i.e., benign tumor) of the pituitary gland that secretes excessive growth hormone (GH). In extremely rare cases, acromegaly is reported without a tumor of the pituitary gland.
Acromegaly sometimes runs in the family but most of the time, it is not inherited. Adenomas usually spontaneously develops because of a genetic change in the cells of the pituitary gland. This change causes uncontrolled growth of affected cells, creating tumors.
Organs that are affected include liver, spleen, intestine, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, heart, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands.
Pituitary tumors, if left untreated, can cause serious illness because of its effects on the normal pituitary gland, optic nerve, and brain. This leads to serious complications such as complete vision loss, colon polyps, and sleep apnea.
When there is a significant change in footwear size, ringer finger size, facial appearance, or blood sugar levels that are not under control, it is time to meet an endocrinologist.
The best screening test for acromegaly is the plasma level of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) levels. Since IGF-1 levels are independent of food intake, samples can be drawn at any time of the day. After biochemical confirmation, it is ideal to investigate with an MRI/CT scan with special cuts.
Surgical:Trans-sphenoidal surgery is the preferred treatment, with considerable reductions in Growth Hormone (GH) levels and symptom relief often occurring after surgery.
Medical: For those who are not surgical candidates or who refuse surgery, this option is preferred.To lessen surgical risks, some individuals benefit from pharmacological therapy with a somatostatin analogue before surgery.
It appears that the patient is cured, but growth hormone (GH) tumors can slowly regrow over years. At the very least, GH and IGF-1 measurements should be repeated every 6–12 months, and pituitary imaging should be done on a regular basis. Patient thyroid, adrenal, gonadal and posterior pituitary function is investigated to assess whether surgery damaged normal pituitary function.