Acromegaly: a challenging condition to diagnose
Haematology & Blood Bank Department, Amiri Hospital, Kuwait Ministry of Health, Sharq, Kuwait
Abstract: Acromegaly is an uncommon, chronic disease, characterized by hypersecretion of a pituitary growth hormone by somatotroph adenomas, along with increased levels of insulin-like growth factor-1. Although acromegaly presents a wide array of clinical manifestations, the salient symptoms include acral and soft tissue enlargement, joint pain, heart and respiratory failure, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Hence, early diagnosis of the disease is critical to enhance life expectancy and quality of life. New approaches are being developed for diagnosis and surveillance (both screening and follow-up), including sensitive biochemical assays and the use of MRI to visualize extremely small tumors, and are helpful in the early diagnosis of acromegaly, subsequent treatment, and disease control. This mini-review summarizes the most common and effective tools used in the diagnosis of acromegaly.
Keywords: pituitary growth hormone, pituitary gland, diabetes mellitus, biochemical assays, acromegaly
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