Need for improved monitoring in patients with acromegaly

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Acromegaly is a rare and insidious disease characterized by the overproduction of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and is most commonly due to a pituitary adenoma. Patients with acromegaly who experience prolonged exposure to elevated levels of GH and IGF1 have an increased mortality risk and progressive worsening of disease-related comorbidities. Multimodal treatment with surgery, medical therapy, and radiotherapy provides biochemical control, defined by recent acromegaly clinical guidelines from the Endocrine Society as a reduction of GH levels to <1.0 ng/ml and normalization of IGF1 levels, to a substantial proportion of patients and is associated with improved clinical outcomes. Patients with acromegaly, even those without clinical symptoms of disease, require long-term monitoring of GH and IGF1 levels if the benefits associated with biochemical control are to be maintained and the risk of developing recurrent disease is to be abated. However, suboptimal monitoring is common in patients with acromegaly, and this can have negative health effects due to delays in detection of recurrent disease and implementation of appropriate treatment. Because of the significant health consequences associated with prolonged exposure to elevated levels of GH and IGF1, optimal monitoring in patients with acromegaly is needed. This review article will discuss the biochemical assessments used for therapeutic monitoring in acromegaly, the importance of monitoring after surgery and medical therapy or radiotherapy, the consequences of suboptimal monitoring, and the need for improved monitoring algorithms for patients with acromegaly.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEndocrine Connections
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Growth factors
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Rare disease/syndromes


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