Published on 17 August 2017 by The Audiopedia

What is ACROMEGALY? What does ACROMEGALY mean? ACROMEGALY meaning - ACROMEGALY pronunciation - ACROMEGALY definition - ACROMEGALY explanation - How to pronounce ACROMEGALY?

Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.

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Acromegaly is a disorder that results from excess growth hormone (GH) after the growth plates have closed. The initial symptom is typically enlargement of the hands and feet. There may also be enlargement of the forehead, jaw, and nose. Other symptoms may include joint pain, thicker skin, deepening of the voice, headaches, and problems with vision. Complications of the disease may include type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and high blood pressure.

Acromegaly is typically due to the pituitary gland producing too much growth hormone. In more than 95% of cases the excess production is due to a benign tumor, known as a pituitary adenoma. The condition is not inherited from a person's parents. Rarely acromegaly is due to tumors in other parts of the body. Diagnosis is by measuring growth hormone after a person has drunk glucose or by measuring insulin-like growth factor I in the blood. After diagnosis, medical imaging of the pituitary is carried out to look for an adenoma. If excess growth hormone is produced during childhood the result is gigantism.

Treatment options include surgery to remove the tumor, medications, and radiation therapy. Surgery is usually the preferred treatment and is most effective when the tumor is smaller. In those in whom surgery is not effective, medications of the somatostatin analogue or GH receptor antagonist type may be used. The effects of radiation therapy are more gradual than that of surgery or medication. Without treatment those affected live on average 10 years less; however, with treatment life expectancy is typically normal.

Acromegaly affects about 6 per 100,000 people. It is most commonly diagnosed in middle age. Males and females are affected with equal frequency. The first medical description of the disorder occurred in 1772 by Nicolas Saucerotte. The term is from Greek akron meaning "extremity" and and mega meaning large.

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