Background: Acromegaly is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Recent studies suggested a direct effect of growth hormone and insuline-like growth factor 1 excess on the vasculature over the conventional risk factors. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the stiffness of ascending aorta by means of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) in patients with acromegaly. Patients and methods: The following patient populations were compared: 20 subjects with negative coronary angiograms, 16 acromegalics and 21 patients with significant coronary artery disease (CAD). Aortic stiffness index (β) was evaluated by means of TTE by use of the formula: β = ln (SBP / DBP) / (ΔD / DD), where SBP and DBP are the systolic and diastolic blood pressures, DD is the diastolic aortic diameter, ΔD is the pulsatile change in aortic diameter (systolic diameter minus diastolic diameter) and 'ln' is the natural logarithm. Results: The average time from diagnosis was 162 ± 127 days in acromegalic patients. Transsphenoidal hypophysectomy was performed in 12 patients, while the mean growth hormone level was 10.8 ± 11.7 mIU/ml. β was similarly increased in acromegalics and in CAD patients as compared to controls (6.23 ± 3.29 vs 16.47 ± 14.53 and 16.66 ± 15.49, p < 0.05, respectively). Conclusions: Stiffness of ascending aorta evaluated by a routine TTE examination is increased in acromegalics without overt cardiovascular disease as compared to controls and similar to CAD patients.
- Aortic stiffness
- Transthoracic echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine