Accepted Preprint (first posted online 1 July 2015)


    1. John Ah Wass
    1. C Capatina, Endocrinology, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
    2. J Wass, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom
    1. Correspondence: John Wass, Email: john.wass{at}


    Acromegaly (ACM) is a chronic, progressive disorder caused by the persistent hypersecretion of growth hormone (GH), in the vast majority of cases secreted by a pituitary adenoma. The consequent increase in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1, a GH-induced liver protein) is responsible for most clinical features and for the systemic complications associated with increased mortality. The clinical diagnosis, based on symptoms related to GH excess or the presence of a pituitary mass is often delayed many years because of the slow progression of the disease. Initial testing relies on measuring the serum IGF1 concentration. The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with concomitant GH measurement is the gold-standard diagnostic test. The therapeutic options for acromegaly are surgery, medical treatment and radiotherapy. The outcome of surgery is very good for microadenomas (80-90% cure rate), but at least half of the macroadenomas (most frequently encountered in ACM patients) are not cured surgically. Somatostatin analogs (SSA) are mainly indicated after surgical failure. Currently their routine use as primary therapy is not recommended. Dopamine agonists are useful in a minority of cases. Pegvisomant is indicated for patients refractory to surgery and other medical treatments. Radiotherapy is employed sparingly, in cases of persistent disease activity despite other treatments, due to its longterm side effects. With complex, combined treatment, at least three quarters of the cases are controlled according to current criteria. With proper control of the disease, the specific complications are partially improved and the mortality rate is close to that of the background population.

    • Received 8 March 2015
    • Received in final form 10 June 2015
    • Accepted 25 June 2015
    • Accepted Preprint first posted online on 1 July 2015

    This Article

    1. J Endocrinol JOE-15-0109
    1. Abstract
    2. All Versions of this Article:
      1. JOE-15-0109v1
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