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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 33

of 'Rheumatic and bone disorders associated with acromegaly'

Osteopenia occurs in a minority of patients with acromegaly and is predominant in the spine.
Kayath MJ, Vieira JG
Osteoporos Int. 1997;7(3):226.
Acromegaly may induce abnormalities in bone metabolism; however, there are limited data related to bone mineral density (BMD) in this condition. To evaluate the effects of an excess of growth hormone/ insulin-like growth fractor I (GH/IGF-I) in the skeleton, we measured the BMD in spine and femoral region, total body calcium and body composition in 45 patients (24 females and 21 males) aged 21-77 years (median 43 years) with acromegaly for 11.4 +/- 7.5 years (range 0.5-26 years) using a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer (Lunar DPX). Thirty-four patients had had hypogonadism for 8.6 +/- 6.5 years (1-24 years). Mean serum GH and IGF-I levels were respectively 159 +/- 183 micrograms/l and 843 +/- 497 micrograms/l. Total body calcium was increased in the acromegalics (males: 1272 +/- 217 g, range 916-1816 g; females: 1041 +/- 223 g, range 739-1609 g) when compared with normal individuals (males: 1115 +/- 144 g, range 856-1398 g; females: 909 +/- 144 g, range 511-1311 g; p = 0.01). The lean body mass was significantly higher in acromegalic patients (p<0.001) compared with normal individuals. There was a tendency for a lower fat percentage in the acromegalics; however, this difference was not significant. Osteopenia (1 Z-score below the mean) was found in the spine in 20% (n = 9) of the patients, while BMD was decreased in the femoral region in only 8.8% (n = 4). The group with osteopenia had a greater duration of hypogonadism than the normal BMD group (14 +/- 11 years vs 4.4 +/- 4.0 years; p = 0.01). A negative correlation was also found between the duration of hypogonadism and BMD in spine (r = -0.4; p = 0.003) and femoral region (r = -0.37; p = 0.013). The hypogonadal patients had a lower BMD in spine (p<0.005), but not in other regions analyzed. No correlation was found between duration of hypersomatotropism, GH/IGF-I levels and BMD. We conclude that the majority of patients with acromegaly have preserved BMD despite the presence of hypogonadism.
Division of Endocrinology, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil.