Acromegaly Blood Testing
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What is Acromegaly?
Acromegaly is the same disorder caused by IGF-1 excess, yet it occurs after the growth plate cartilage has already been fused during adulthood. It is directly linked to gigantism, which is the abnormally high linear growth caused by excessive action of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), though this particular condition occurs while the ephiphyseal growth plates are still open.
Acromegaly is a serious disease which is often diagnosed later in a patient’s life and is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, mostly due to the accompanying cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, respiratory disorders and malignancies which are typical in those with the condition.
Who May Need an Acromegaly Screen?
Signs of Acromegaly include those similar to abnormal levels of IGF-1, including large extremities and facial features, as well as masses on the pituitary gland. If you, or someone you know, exhibit these signs, there may be cause to have this test performed. Also, if you have had elevated IGF-1 levels previously, or been treated for IGF-1 abnormalities or Acromegaly before without exhibiting a decrease in the growth hormone, you may want to continue testing until a physician instructs otherwise.
What Should I Expect from My Acromegaly Screen?
Prior to the development of Acromegaly and IGF-1 testing, growth hormone measurement was the only way to diagnose patients with the disease, which is an inferior biochemical method for assessment. Today’s tests are an extremely reliable indicator of the disease in adults who exhibit signs and symptoms of Acromegaly, using a linear dose-response correlation between serum IGF-1 levels and 24-hour integrated growth hormone secretion. Signs of abnormal dynamics of growth hormone secretion during this test typically indicate active Acromegaly in patients.