Diagnosis of acromegalia and its radiological characteristics
INTRODUCTION: Acromegaly is a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by the excess of growth hormone (GH) and IGF-1. It occurs at the same frequency in men and women. Acromegaly can be diagnosed at any age, but it is more common in individuals between 30 and 50 years of age. GH hypersecretion causes skeletal deformities, metabolic disorders, complications in various organs and systems, and ends up reducing the patient's life expectancy. Due to the insidious nature of acromegaly and the lack of knowledge on the part of the population about the characteristics of the disease, its diagnosis is made approximately 8 to 10 years after the appearance of the first signs and symptoms. The mortality rate of agromegalic individuals are 2 to 4 times higher than the general population of the same sex and age. In Brazil, it is estimated that about 650 new cases of acromegaly are diagnosed annually. AIM This work aims to carry out a bibliographic review to discuss the diagnosis of acromegaly and its radiological characteristics. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was a bibliographic, systematic, exploratory, descriptive and quantitative research. The Pubmed, BVSalud, and Scielo databases were searched with the following descriptors: “acromegaly”, “pituitary”, “image diagnosis”. Case reports, literature review, full articles in Portuguese, English and Spanish were included. RESULTS: Early diagnosis and effective multidisciplinary treatment is of paramount importance for reducing mortality. Most cases occur sporadically, caused by a GH-secreting pituitary adenoma in 99% of cases. The diagnosis can be made by measuring the hormone, and it is also important to perform imaging exams. Magnetic resonance imaging of the sella turcica is required to identify and characterize (dimensions and expansions) of the tumor. CT-scans can be performed in cases were MRI is not available. CONCLUSION: Acromegaly is a rare disease, but it is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Early diagnosis is paramount when facing this illness. Therapeutic options should be used aggressively to control the disease.
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