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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pathophysiology of acromegaly.

This review discusses the pathophysiology of acromegaly. Acromegaly has been classified in this paper into distinct entities based on etiology, ultrastructural features of the pituitary, and cytogenesis. This classification has been proposed based on clinical signs, immunoperoxidase techniques, transmission electromicroscopy and immunoelectron microscopy. Pituitary causes of acromegaly include densely granulated adenomas, sparsely granulated adenomas, mixed growth hormone and prolactin cell adenomas, acidophil stem cell adenomas, mammosomatotroph cell adenomas, and pleurihormonal adenomas. GH cell hyperplasia and GH cell carcinoma are also discussed. Extrapituitary causes of acromegaly include eutopic GH cell adenoma in the sphenoid sinus or parapharyngeal region and excess GHRF secretion which may be eutopic or ectopic. The pathological, clinical, and biochemical evidence in favor of a pituitary or hypothalamic etiology of acromegaly has been reviewed. Finally, a multistage theory of GH cell tumorigenesis has been proposed as a model in an attempt to unify the genetic, environmental and biochemical factors implicated in the pathogenesis of acromegaly.[1]


  1. Pathophysiology of acromegaly. Melmed, S., Braunstein, G.D., Horvath, E., Ezrin, C., Kovacs, K. Endocr. Rev. (1983) [Pubmed]
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