Introduction: Skeletal fragility with high risk of vertebral fractures is an emerging complication of acromegaly in close relationship with duration of active disease. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the prevalence and determinants of vertebral fractures in males and females with a history of long-standing active acromegaly undergoing treatment with Pegvisomant. Subjects and methods: Thirty-eight patients (25 females, 13 males) with acromegaly under Pegvisomant therapy were evaluated for vertebral fractures and bone mineral density at lumbar spine and femoral neck. Gonadal status, serum IGF1 levels and growth hormone receptor genotype were also assessed. Results: Vertebral fractures were detected in 12 patients (31.6%). Fractured patients had longer duration of active disease (p = 0.01) with higher frequency of active acromegaly (p = 0.04), received higher dose of Pegvisomant (p = 0.008), and were more frequently hypogonadic (p = 0.02) as compared to patients who did not fracture. Stratifying the patients for gender, vertebral fractures were significantly associated with Pegvisomant dose (p = 0.02) and untreated hypogonadism (p = 0.02) in males and with activity of disease (p = 0.03), serum insulin-like growth factor-I values (p = 0.01) and d3GHR polymorphism (p = 0.005) in females. No significant association was found between vertebral fractures and bone mineral density at either skeletal site. Conclusion: Vertebral fractures are a frequent complication of long-standing active acromegaly. When patients are treated with Pegvisomant, vertebral fractures may occur in close relationship with active acromegaly and coexistent untreated hypogonadism.
- Growth hormone receptor isoforms