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The objective of this study was to screen for acromegaly by application of a simple questionnaire in patients seen at primary health care units. A total of 17,000 patients of both genders >18 and <70 years seen by general practitioner were interviewed. Patients with known pituitary disease and pregnant women were excluded. A simple questionnaire was applied to the patients: Has your shoe size increased over the last 5 years? Did you have to change your wedding ring or ring over the last 5 years because it became tight? In one patient, the diagnosis of acromegaly was suspected by the physician. Among the remaining patients, 178 (1%) responded positively to one of the items of the questionnaire and were submitted to IGF-1 measurement. Five patients had persistently elevated IGF-1 and inadequate suppression of GH in the OGTT (without other conditions associated with GH or IGF-1 elevation). One of these patients presented a normal pituitary upon magnetic resonance imaging and adenoma was detected in the other four; two presented the typical facies and two others reported changes in physiognomy (confirmed by the comparison of photographs), in addition to the enlargement of extremities. The present investigation suggests a much higher prevalence of acromegaly in the adult population than that reported traditionally. We propose that screening based on phenotypic alterations is cost-effective since these changes occur early and almost universally in acromegaly and are uncommon in the general population.
Postgraduation Program, Santa Casa de Belo Horizonte, Av Francisco Sales 1111, 9ºD, Santa Efigênia, CEP 30150-221, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
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Obstetrics and gynaecology
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