Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 P468

Short-term evaluation of quality of life in acromegalic patients

C Sardella, C Cosci, S Gavioli, F Bogazzi & E Martino


University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


Active acromegaly is associated with significant comorbidity and reduced quality of life. Cross-sectional studies have shown that quality of life did not significantly change in long-term cured acromegalic patients. However, the effect of medical treatment on the quality of life in the short term is unknown.

We evaluated the quality of life by a disease-specific questionnaire in a longitudinal study before and after a 6-month course with somatostatin analogs (SMSa) in 20 acromegalic patients (11 male and 9 female, mean age 48±13 yr.).

We evaluated various physical and mental aspects of quality of life by the disease-specific questionnaire, Acromegaly-Quality of Life (ACRO-QOL). The questionnaire comprises two different scales: a physical performance scale and a psychological well-being scale. The psychological well-being scale is further subdivided into appearance and personal relations subscales. Parameters are expressed as percentage, from 0 (very bad) to 100 (very good).

Adjustament of SMSa dosage was done every three months, when necessary.

The ACRO-QOL total score was 54.7±23.0 before and 62.2±19.0 after a SMSa treatment (P<0.03). Items of the ACRO-QOL ranged from 54.8±22.2 to 63.3±18.7 on the psychological well-being scale and from 36.6±24.3 to 53.5±21.5 on the appearance subscale. These scores significantly improved after a 6-month course with SMSa therapy (P=0.007 and P=0.001 respectively). On the contrary, the physical performance scale and the personal relation subscale did not change after SMAa treatment.

In conclusion, these data suggest that a significant improvement of the quality of life occurs in acromegalic patients after short-term SMSa therapy.

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