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Minerva Endocrinologica 1999 September-December;24(3-4):123-8

language: English

Acromegaly and intestinal neoplasms

Scialpi C., Mosca S., Malaguti A., Orsi I., Vezzadini C., Toni R.


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Acromegalic subjects show increased frequency of neoplastic lesions in the colon and rectum with respect to the general population. Recent prospective studies using colonoscopy have shown a 3 time higher prevalence of intestinal polyps and up to 4 time increased presence of colorectal cancer in acromegaly, independently of sex, age, duration of disease and clinical status of the patients. The polyps are distributed throughout the extension of the large bowel and are often multiple, showing at least two different histologic types: hyperplastic and adenomatous. Sometimes they are associated with intestinal carcinomas. Pancolonoscopy is the procedure of choice for the diagnosis of large bowel neoplasms, even though it may be difficult to complete in these subjects because of the frequent presence of an enlarged and elongated colon. It shows a higher sensitivity and specificity compared to other tests such as the barium enema, fecal occult blood test and serum levels of carcinoembryonic antigen. Therefore, it is recommended to follow up acromegalic patients using pancolonoscopy to obtain early detection of neoplastic lesions in the large bowel.

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