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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 38

of 'Rheumatic and bone disorders associated with acromegaly'

Differential presentation of cortical and trabecular peripheral bone mineral density in acromegaly.
Jockenhövel F, Rohrbach S, Deggerich S, Reinwein D, Reiners C
Eur J Med Res. 1996;1(8):377.
Growth hormone (GH) has been suggested as a therapeutic tool for the treatment of osteopenia. To assess the differential influence of growth hormone on cortical and trabecular bone, bone mineral densities (BMD) of the ultradistal radius were determined in 18 men and 19 women with clinically and biochemically confirmed acromegaly using peripheral computed tomography and a specialized scanner (Stratec XCT 900). The results were expressed in equivalents to hydroxyl-apatite (mg/ccm) and compared with the BMD of healthy controls (17 men, 34 women). Cortical bone mineral density was significantly higher in acromegalic women (295.2 +/- 18.4, X +/- SEM) and men (339.4 +/- 21.2) compared to healthy women (243.0 +/- 12.8) and men (272.2 +/- 15.9). In contrast, trabecular BMD did not differ between acromegalic patients (men: 161.0 +/- 16.1; women: 116.5 +/- 10.5) and controls (men: 158.0 +/- 12.2; women: 134.1 +/- 6.3). Acromegalic women showed a significant correlation between insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) expression and cortical BMD, whereas in acromegalic men GH levels correlated significantly with cortical BMD. Greatly increased serum osteocalcin levels in both, acromegalic men (15.5 +/- 3.3 ng/ml) and women (12.9 +/- 1.8) compared to controls (men: 6.7 +/- 1.7; women: 7.7 +/- 1.0) indicates the activation of osteoblastic bone formation. This study revealed an increase in cortical BMD at the forearm; in acromegalic patients; though trabecular BMD did not differ from controls. The differential mineralization of cortical and trabecular bone in acromegaly may be indicative of the detrimental effect accompanying pituitary insufficiency can have on trabecular bone, despite substitution therapy, but could also be due to different reactivity of cortical and trabecular bone to GH and/or IGF I. The observable increase of bone mineral density in acromegaly suggests a potential use for GH in treating osteoporosis.
Klinik II und Poliklinik f-ur Innere Medizin, Universit-at zu K-oln, Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 9, K-oln D-50924, Germany.