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Acromegaly

Acromegaly is a rare hormonal disorder caused by a pituitary gland tumor, leading to excessive growth hormone production. Symptoms include enlarged hands and feet, facial changes, joint pain, and organ enlargement. Diagnosis involves blood tests and imaging scans. Treatment options include surgery, medications, and radiation therapy.

Best medications for Acromegaly

Drug NameClassRouteStandard DosagePrice
SomavertGrowth Hormone Receptor AntagonistsSubcutaneous15, 20, 10, 25, 30 MGfrom$8101.14
SandoSTATINSomatostatin AnaloguesInjection500, 20, 50, 10, 100, 30 MCG/MLfrom$3.06
Signifor LARSomatostatin AnaloguesIntramuscular60, 20, 10, 40, 30 MGfrom$482208.54
SandoSTATIN LAR DepotSomatostatin AnaloguesIntramuscular20, 10, 30 MGfrom$106550.37
ParlodelErgot DerivativesOral2.5, 5 MGfrom$64.71
MycapssaSomatostatin AnaloguesOral20 MGfrom$3512.03
Bynfezia PenSomatostatin AnaloguesSubcutaneous2500 MCG/ML (2.8 ML)from$636.79
Somatuline DepotSomatostatin AnaloguesSubcutaneous60, 90, 120 MG/0.2MLfrom$2090.34
Lanreotide AcetateSomatostatin AnaloguesSubcutaneous60, 90, 120 MG/0.3MLfrom$2090.34

Introduction

Acromegaly is a rare hormonal disorder that develops when the pituitary gland produces excessive growth hormone (GH). This excess GH leads to the enlargement of body tissues, resulting in various physical and physiological changes. Acromegaly usually occurs in adults, typically between the ages of 30 and 50, and affects both men and women equally. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for acromegaly.

Causes of Acromegaly

The primary cause of acromegaly is the presence of a benign tumor called an adenoma in the pituitary gland. These tumors are usually noncancerous and may not cause any symptoms initially. However, as the tumor grows, it can stimulate the production and release of excessive growth hormone. In rare cases, ectopic tumors (located outside the pituitary gland) or tumors in other parts of the body can also produce growth hormone-releasing hormone, leading to acromegaly.

Symptoms of Acromegaly

The symptoms of acromegaly can be gradual and often go unnoticed for several years. Common symptoms include: 1. Enlargement of hands and feet: People with acromegaly may notice an increase in the size of their hands and feet, causing a change in shoe or ring size. 2. Facial changes: The bones and tissues in the face gradually enlarge, resulting in characteristic features such as a protruding jaw, enlarged nose, thickened lips, and widely spaced teeth. 3. Soft tissue swelling: Excessive growth hormone can cause swelling and thickening of the soft tissues, leading to changes in facial appearance, such as a more prominent forehead, wider spacing between the eyes, and a protruding brow. 4. Joint pain: Enlargement of bones and tissues can impact joint function, causing stiffness, pain, and limited mobility. 5. Organ enlargement: Over time, the excess growth hormone can lead to the enlargement of internal organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys. This can result in various complications, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney problems.

Diagnosis of Acromegaly

If a doctor suspects acromegaly based on physical examination and symptoms, they may order several tests for confirmation. These tests include blood tests to measure the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and growth hormone. Imaging tests like MRI or CT scans of the brain can help locate and determine the size of the pituitary tumor. Additionally, an oral glucose tolerance test may be performed to measure the body's response to high levels of glucose.

Treatment of Acromegaly

The treatment of acromegaly often involves a multidisciplinary approach, including endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, and radiation oncologists. The primary goal of treatment is to reduce excess growth hormone production, control symptoms, and prevent complications. Treatment options include: 1. Surgery: Surgical removal of the pituitary tumor, known as transsphenoidal adenomectomy, is a common treatment method. It aims to alleviate hormone hypersecretion and relieve symptoms. In some cases, additional treatments may still be necessary. 2. Medications: Medications such as somatostatin analogs, dopamine agonists, and growth hormone receptor antagonists can help control growth hormone production and reduce tumor size. These drugs are often used in combination or alone, depending on the individual case. 3. Radiation therapy: In cases where surgery and medications are not completely effective, radiation therapy may be used to shrink the tumor and reduce hormone levels further. This treatment option is usually reserved for patients who cannot undergo surgery or who have residual tumor activity