After the introduction of somatostatin analogs (LA-SMSA) and the GH receptor antagonist, pegvisomant (Peg-v) normal serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations in virtually every patients with acromegaly is possible. The impact of these products on the GH-IGF1 axis is completely different. We advocate that LA-SMSA may normalise serum IGF1 levels in the presence of elevated GH actions in extra-hepatic tissues. This results in persistent peripheral disease activity that we call: 'extra-hepatic acromegaly'. Peg-v competitively blocks systemic GH action and results in a GH serum level increase. Therefore high doses of Peg-v are necessary to control IGF-1. Since the mode of action differs between these products, it is questionable if identical IGF-1 levels, during Peg-v or LA-SMSA are really identical representations of the biochemical situation. With the traditional biomarkers medical treatment is therefore difficult to monitor with the traditional biomarkers. Additionally, Peg-v and LA-SMSA could be ideal combination since they have different mode of actions. We believe that the time has come to challenge the existing concepts of treatment and monitoring of patients with acromegaly.

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Keywords Acromegaly, Extra-hepatic acromegaly, Growth hormone deficiency, Growth hormone receptor antagonist, Growth hormone sensitivity, IGF-1, Pegvisomant, Somatostatin analogs
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Journal European Endocrinology
Franck, S.E, van der Lely, A-J, & Neggers, S.J.C.M.M. (2013). Extra-hepatic acromegaly. European Endocrinology, 9(1), 54–58. Retrieved from