Cardiovascular complications in acromegaly: Methods of assessment

Giovanni Vitale, Rosario Pivonello, Maurizio Galderisi, Arcangelo D'Errico, Letizia Spinelli, Giovanni Lupoli, Gaetano Lombardi, Annamaria Colao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiac involvement is common in acromegaly. Evidence for cardiac hypertrophy, dilation and diastolic filling abnormalities has been widely reported in literature. Generally, ventricular hypertrophy is revealed by echocardiography but early data referred increased cardiac size by standard X-ray. Besides, echocardiography investigates cardiac function and value disease. There are new technologic advances in ultrasonic imaging. Pulsed Tissue Doppler is a new non-invasive ultrasound tool which extends Doppler applications beyond the analysis of intra-cardiac flow velocities until the quantitative assessment of the regional myocardial left ventricular wall motion, measuring directly velocities and time intervals of myocardium. The radionuclide techniques permit to study better the cardiac performance. In fact, diastolic as well as systolic function can be assessed at rest and at peak exercise by equilibrium radionuclide angiography. This method has a main advantage of providing direct evaluation of ventricular function, being operator independent. Coronary artery disease has been poorly studied mainly because of the necessity to perform invasive procedures. Only a few cases have been reported with heart failure study by coronarography and having alterations of perfusion which ameliorated after somatostatin analog treatment. More recently, a few data have been presented using perfusional scintigraphy in acromegaly, even if coronary artery disease does not seem very frequent in acromegaly. Doppler analysis of carotid arteries can be also performed to investigate atherosclerosis: however, patients with active acromegaly have endothelial dysfunction more than clear-cut atherosclerotic plaques. In conclusion, careful assessments of cardiac function, morphology and activity need in patients with acromegaly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2001


  • Acromegaly
  • Doppler ultrasonography
  • Echocardiography
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • GH
  • IGF-I
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Radionuclide angiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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