Characteristics and outcome of surgically treated acromegaly patients attending an endocrinology clinic at a tertiary referral centre in Durban, South Africa over a period of 10 years

  • Abdurraouf Masaud Elbueishi
  • Fraser J. Pirie
  • Ayesha A. Motala
Keywords: acromegaly, diagnostic criteria, medical and radiotherapy, modes of treatment (surgery)


Background: The mode of presentation, clinical, radiologic and laboratory characteristics of patients with acromegaly and the outcome following various modalities of treatment are not well documented in South Africa.

Aim: To evaluate treatment outcome and follow-up of patients with acromegaly over a period of 10 years.

Methods: The study is a retrospective record review of patients with acromegaly attending Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Durban, 2003–2013.

Results: The study included 27 patients (16 female and 11 male) with a mean age at diagnosis of 44.2 ± 14.0 years. The mean growth hormone (GH) at diagnosis was 51.8 ± 32.6 μg/l and mean IGF-1 956.8 ± 432.9 μg/l. In 25 patients (92.5%) pituitary macroadenoma was identified; microadenoma was present in 2 (7.4%) patients. Trans-sphenoidal surgery was employed in 26 (96.3%) as the initial therapy; only 1 patient was treated medically. Adjunctive medical therapy was used in 23 (88.5%) and radiotherapy in 6 (22.2%). After a mean follow-up of 4.4 ± 3.4 years, 9 (33.3%) subjects were cured (normal age-matched and gender-matched IGF-1 and random GH < 1.0 μg/l). No deaths were recorded and post-procedural hypopituitarism developed in 22 (84.6%) patients.

Conclusions: Patients with acromegaly in KwaZulu-Natal present with advanced clinical features and large pituitary adenomata. The overall cure rate is lower than reported from developed countries.

Keywords: acromegaly, diagnostic criteria, medical and radiotherapy, modes of treatment (surgery)


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eISSN: 003-8-2469