OBJECTIVES: To investigate the quality of life (QoL) in acromegalic patients in relation to biochemical parameters. DESIGN AND METHODS: Single-center, open label study in 14 acromegalic patients (eight woman and six men, age 33-77 years), with normal serum IGF-I levels during long-term treatment with monthly injections of 20 mg of long-acting octreotide. We investigated which biochemical parameter might reflect optimal QoL, using the SF-36 questionnaire. RESULTS: We observed that six patients had a low QoL score at baseline in the same range as observed in cancer patients. The other eight patients had a normal QoL. GH, IGF-I nor free IGF-I could discriminate these two subgroups at baseline. After skipping one monthly injection, all six subjects with the low QoL escaped in their free IGF-I concentrations. Also total IGF-I concentrations escaped in four of these six. In the subjects with normal QoL, free IGF-I levels remained normal in all, while total IGF-I levels only escaped in one. CONCLUSIONS: This study tells us that the currently used biochemical criteria for disease control in acromegaly might be sufficient in assessing long-term mortality and morbidity, but they are insufficient in addressing the most important parameter from the patient's perspective--QoL.

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doi.org/10.1530/eje.1.01838, hdl.handle.net/1765/13707
European Journal of Endocrinology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bonapart, I., ten Have, S., de Herder, W., Erdman, R., Janssen, J., van der Lely, A.-J., & van Domburg, R. (2005). The 'bio-assay' quality of life might be a better marker of disease activity in acromegalic patients than serum total IGF-I concentrations. European Journal of Endocrinology, 152(2), 217–224. doi:10.1530/eje.1.01838