Acromegaly and Echocardiography



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  1. Padayatty SJ, Perrins EJ, Belchetz PE. Octreotide treatment increases exercise capacity in patients with acromegaly. Eur J. Endocrinol 1996 May;134(5):554-9
    This prospective study was conducted to determine the effect of Octreotide treatment on cardiovascular function in patients with active acromegaly. Ten acromegalic patients who failed to suppress growth hormone (GH) to < 5 mU/l during a 2 h oral glucose tolerance test were treated with 100 micrograms of Octreotide subcutaneously three times daily for 2 months,followed by 200 micrograms three times daily if the mean GH level was > 5 mU/l, for a total of 1 year. All patients had GH and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) estimation, ejection fraction determined by echocardiogram and multigated image acquisition scan, electrocardiogram (ECG), exercise ECG, 24-h ECG and chest x-ray. At 6 and 12 months, both GH and IGF-I were reduced but ECG, heart size and ejection fraction were unchanged. The patients improved symptomatically and had significant reduction in resting heart rate and increase in weight. Exercise time (mean +/- SD) increased from 637 +/- 137s at baseline to 787 +/- 101s at 1 year (p < 0.01) and work done increased from 9 +/- 3.3 to 11.9 +/- 2.7 metabolic equivalents (p < 0.001). The authors conclude that the decrease in GH and IGF-I following Octreotide treatment of acromegaly is accompanied by decreased heart rate and increased exercise capacity despite an unchanged ejection fraction.

  2. Terzolo M, Avonto L, Matrella C, Pozzi R, Luceri S,Borretta G,Pecchio F,Ugliengo G, Magro GP, Reimondo G, et al. Doppler echocardiographic patterns in patients with acromegaly. J Endocrinol Invest 1995 Sep;18(8):613-20
    Cardiovascular problems have long been recognized as responsible for an increased morbidity and mortality in patients with acromegaly. The aim of the present study was to evaluate echocardiographically the prevalence of cardiomyopathy in a cohort of acromegalic patients and to analyze the results in relation to demographic, clinical and hormonal data. This study,a retrospective controlled clinical trial, was performed in 25 acromegalic patients, 12 men and 13 women aged 26-66 years (mean:52.6). Fifteen patients had an active disease, 10 were cured by previous pituitary surgery. The same echocardiographic parameters were analyzed in 50 healthy subjects aged 30-70 years (mean:51.4). Serum GH was determined on at least 4 samples drawn over 24 hours and plasma IGF-I on a single point. Standardized parameters of diastolic and systolic function were evaluated by real-time Doppler echocardiography. Twelve patients with active acromegaly underwent also 48-hour ECG registeri.g. Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy was found in 14/25 patients (56%). No difference was found between patients with active disease (53%) and patients with cured acromegaly (60%). LV mass index was significantly increased in acromegalics in comparison with healthy subjects (137 +/- 43 g/m2 vs 96 +/- 16 g/m2, p < 0.01) and also the indices of LV diastolic function were significantly impaired. Asymmetric septal hypertrophy was found only in one patient. Hypertension was detected in 9/25 patients (36%) without difference between patients with active or cured disease (40% vs30%, NS). No significant correlation was found between hormonal or clinical data and echocardiographic findings. During Holter monitoring, heart rate of acromegalics was not significantly different from that of controls (78 +/- 12 bpm vs 72 +/- 10 bpm, NS) and only isolated supraventricular or ventricular premature complexes (Lown class 1) were detected. In conclusion, this study provides evidence of subclinical LV dysfunction in acromegaly in the absence of other known causes of heart disease and no significant difference in echocardiographic pattern was apparent between active or cured acromegalics.

  3. Galanti G, Cappelli B,Diricatti G, Mininni S, Vono MC, Gensini GF. Systolic and diastolic cardiac function in acromegaly. An echocardiographic study. Ann Ital Med Int 1996 Jan-Mar;11(1):27-32
    The aim of this study was to establish the existence of primary acromegalic cardiomyopathy different from the cardiovascular complications often associated with acromegaly. Thirty-four acromegalic patients, referred to our non-invasive laboratory and divided into two groups on the basis of the presence of hypertension, underwent echocardiographic studies. A control group of 34 subjects individually matched with the patients for age, sex, and blood pressure values was also studied. To evaluate cardiac function during exercise, the normotensive acromegalics, the control group, and a group of 9 athletes with left ventricular mass comparable to that of the acromegalic subjects underwent a handgrip test. Cardiac mass was increased in all patients; hypertensive patients had a greater increase than normotensive patients (144.9 +/- 38 vs 120.9 +/- 20.8 g/m, p <0.02). Systolic wall stress and percent fractional shortening,although similar to the values confirmed in controls, were modified in the hypertensive patients (wall stress 77.5 +/- 9.3 vs 60.8 +/- 9.4 dyne/cm2, p < 0.01). In all patients, diastolic function at rest was similar to that in controls, although the hypertensive patients had deteriorated diastolic function (E peak 56.9 +/- 12.4 vs 71 +/- 15 cm/s, p < 0.01; A peak 70.4 +/- 21.1 vs 52.3 +/- 16.4 cm/s, p < 0.03; E/A ratio 0.89 +/- 0.37 vs 1.38 +/- 0.35, p < 0.02). During handgrip testing, wall stress in both the normotensive acromegalics and the control subjects increased but remained unchanged in the athlete group; percent fractional shortening decreased in all patients and controls but increased slightly in the athlete group. In conclusion, cardiac hypertrophy caused by GH hyperincretion does not improve acromegalic heart activity: diastolic function, although normal at rest, appears deficient during isometric exercise.

  4. Fazio S, Cittadini A, Cuocolo A,Merola B, Sabatini D,Colao A,Biondi B, Lombardi G, Sacca L. Impaired cardiac performance is a distinct feature of uncomplicated acromegaly. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1994 Aug;79(2):441-6
    This study was designed to assess right and left ventricular function in patients with active acromegaly. To this end, 26 acromegalic patients (9 of whom had arterial hypertension) and 15 normal subjects of comparable age and sex distribution were studied by radionuclide angiography at rest and during supine bicycle-ergometer exercise and echocardiography. At rest, the filling rates of left (-19%; P < 0.005) and right ventricle (-32%; P < 0.001) were significantly reduced in acromegalic patients, whereas right and left ventricle ejection fractions (EFs) were normal. During physical exercise, EF was considerably lower in the acromegalic patients than in controls. This was true for both left (61 +/- 11% vs. 75 +/- 8%; P < 0.001) and right ventricle (45 +/- 13 vs. 58 +/- 11%; P < 0.002). In as many as 73% of patients, EF increased less than 5%, thus fulfilling the criteria for impaired cardiac performance. Left ventricular mass index was 60% greater in acromegalics than in controls (P <0.001). A significant difference in left ventricular mass index was also present when normotensive acromegalic patients were compared with controls (P < 0.001). No significant difference in the indices of systolic and diastolic function was observed between the subgroups of normotensive and hypertensive acromegalics, either at rest or during exercise. The data demonstrate that in uncomplicated acromegaly, besides cardiac hypertrophy, there are also important alterations of systolic and diastolic function of both ventricles, leading to a significant impairment of cardiac performance.

  5. Merola B,Cittadini A, Colao A, Ferone D, Fazio S,Sabatini D Biondi B, Sacca L, Lombardi G. Chronic treatment with the somatostatin analog octreotide improves cardiac abnormalities in acromegaly. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1993 Sep;77(3):790-3
    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a 6-month octreotide treatment on cardiac mass and function by means of Doppler echocardiography in 11 normotensive patients affected with active acromegaly. The GH and insulin-like growth factor-I levels were normalized during octreotide therapy from 34 +/- 6.5 and 767.4 +/- 72.4 micrograms/L to 4.6 +/- 0.9 and 235 +/- 10.3 micrograms/L, respectively (P < 0.001; mean +/- SEM). After the 6-month treatment, we observed a significant decrease in the left ventricular mass index from 138 +/- 11 to 116 +/- 13 g/m2 (P <0.001) and in the mean wall thickness/internal end-diastolic radius ratio from 0.47 +/- 0.1 to 0.44 +/- 0.1 (P < 0.001). No significant differences were found in systolic function indices, whereas diastolic filling indices improved over the course of the therapy; the isovolumic relaxation time decreased from 115 +/- 6 to 100 +/- 6 ms (P < 0.05), tricuspid late diastolic filling velocities decreased from 41 +/- 3 to 36 +/- 2 cm/s (P < 0.03),and tricuspid deceleration time decreased from 280 +/- 28 to 198 +/- 15 ms (P < 0.005); the ratio of early to late peak velocity of the right ventricular filling significantly increased from 1+/- 0.01 to 1.3 +/- 0.1 (P < 0.03). A significant correlation was detected between left ventricular mass regression and increase in the early to late peak velocity ratio of the left ventricular filling (r = 0.62; P < 0.05). The results of this study show an improvement in cardiac structural and functional abnormalities during chronic treatment with octreotide, thus supporting the hypothesis of a specific heart disease secondary to high circulating GH levels.
  6. Long-term echocardiographic follow-up of acromegalic heart disease. Hradec J; Marek J; Kral J; Janota T; Poloniecki J; Malik M. Am J Cardiol 1993 Jul 15;72(2):205-10
    Heart muscle disease in acromegaly manifests usually as cardiac hypertrophy. Based on a retrospective analysis, it was suggested that cardiac hypertrophy is slowly reversible after normalization of plasma growth hormone levels. The reversibility of acromegalic heart muscle disease during and after treatment of acromegaly was studied prospectively. A cohort of 78 patients was examined echocardiographically in 1981, and 38 survivors of this group were reexamined 10 years later. Patients were classified according to original hormonal activity in 1981, and change in hormonal activity during follow-up into the following 4 groups: group I--hormonally inactive for entire follow-up (n = 10); group II--hormonally active for entire follow-up (n = 11); group III--initially hormonally inactive with later resurgence (n = 6); and group IV--initially hormonally active with later normalization of growth hormone levels (n = 11). No significant echocardiographic changes occurred during follow-up in group I. Left ventricular posterior wall and septal diastolic thickness, and left ventricular mass increased significantly (all p < 0.05) in group II. Left ventricular posterior wall thickness, mass and diastolic volume increased significantly (p < 0.05, < 0.01 and < 0.001, respectively) in group III. On the contrary, there were significant decreases in left ventricular mass, and both diastolic and systolic left ventricular volumes (p < 0.01, < 0.05 and < 0.05, respectively) in group IV. It is concluded that both hypertrophy and dilatation of the left ventricle in acromegaly are slowly reversible after successful treatment. On the contrary, continuing or relapsed hyperproduction of growth hormone causes further deterioration of acromegalic heart disease.



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