Background: Acromegaly is a rare disease characterized by a chronic exposition to growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), caused in most cases by a pituitary GH-secreting adenoma. Chronic GH excess induces systemic complications (metabolic, cardiovascular, respiratory, neoplastic, and musculoskeletal) and increased mortality if not appropriately treated. Recent epidemiological data report an improved life span of patients with acromegaly probably due to better acromegaly management; additionally, the number of pituitary incidentaloma in general population also increased over time due to more frequent imaging. Therefore, the number of elderly patients, newly diagnosed with acromegaly or in follow-up, is expected to grow in the coming years and clinicians will need to be aware of particularities in managing these patients. Purpose: This review aims to explore different aspects of acromegaly of the elderly patients, focusing on epidemiology, diagnosis, clinical presentation, complications, and management options. Methods: Available literature has been assessed through PubMed (data until August 2019) by specific keywords. Conclusions: Available data on acromegaly in the elderly patient are sparse, but point to important differences. Further studies are needed comparing elderly with younger patients with acromegaly to better define a tailored diagnostic and therapeutic management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism