Revista argentina de endocrinología y metabolismo
On-line version ISSN 1851-3034
Despite modern treatments for acromegaly, this disease is associated with a two to three-fold increase in cardiovascular risk in relation to the normal adult population. This results from a long term exposure of cardiomyocytes to GH excess, which causes histological changes in the geometric configuration of myofibrils, interstitial fibrosis and biventricular hypertrophy. The natural history of acromegalic heart disease includes several stages. In the early phase, there is a slow development of myocardial hipertrophy, subsequently associated with heart rhythm abnormalities. These arrhythmias, which represent a major risk factor for cardiovascular events, are secondary to the above mentioned structural changes in the myocardium, and make up the so-called "hyperkinetic syndrome of acromegaly". According to various epidemiological studies, a variable rate of patients with acromegaly (25 % to 50 %) has hypertension. This complication is secondary to sodium retention and the consequent plasma volume expansion, which implies cardiac overload and constitutes a worsening factor for cardiovascular disease. In the second stage, there are echocardiographic signs of reduced ventricular diastolic filling. The third stage is characterized by alteration of one or more heart valves and impaired systolic and diastolic function at rest, as well as signs of dilated cardiomyopathy, leading to congestive heart failure. This last stage is irreversible even with adequate therapy. Thus, early diagnosis of disease and a close monitoring of serum CH-IGF-I levels are mandatory. No financial conflicts of interest exist.
Keywords : Cardiomyopathy; Arrythmias; Valve diseases hypertension; Atherosclerosis.