Alterations in body composition in acromegaly

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Acromegaly is a condition characterized by growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) hypersecretion, and is associated with boney overgrowth, and soft tissue abnormalities due to anabolic, lipolytic, and sodium retaining actions of GH. GH and IGF-1 excess is associated with alterations in body composition, including an increase in body water and lean body mass, and a reduction in body fat. Achievement of biochemical control of the disease results in a reduction in body water and fat-free mass, and an increase in body fat. BMD is generally increased in acromegaly, though the anabolic effect of GH excess on bone is reduced, if not negated, by the presence of hypogonadism, particularly with regard to the trabecular compartment. Further studies are necessary to determine the effect of long-term biochemical control on bone density in subjects with acromegaly.

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