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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 7

of 'Rheumatic and bone disorders associated with acromegaly'

Arthropathy in acromegalic patients before and after treatment: a long-term follow-up study.
Dons RF, Rosselet P, Pastakia B, Doppman J, Gorden P
Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1988;28(5):515.
The medical records of 90 patients with acromegaly were reviewed. Arthralgias were noted in 76% of the patients with 17% having the onset of joint pain concomitant with the clinical onset of acromegaly. Of 47 patients followed prospectively for 5 or more years after pituitary irradiation, six (12.8%) were unaffected by arthralgias. A statistically higher mean baseline growth hormone level was found for the 19 (40.4%) radiotherapy patients who had severe and disabling arthropathy. Mean intervals between clinical onset of acromegaly and the development of arthropathic symptoms were shorter (4.1 years) for patients over 40 years of age and longer (9.7 years) for those under 31 years of age. Severely affected patients tended to have increased joint spaces in both weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing joints followed by a progressive decrease in joint spaces. Arthropathy is a common complication of acromegaly and may progress independently of a fall in growth hormone, induced by any form of treatment, once significant cartilage overgrowth develops. Cartilage overgrowth is a predisposing factor in the development of an arthropathy associated with the wide range of growth hormone levels characteristic of acromegaly.
Division of Endocrinology, Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland.