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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism