Moving Forward
8/20/2013

How Doctors Diagnose Acromegaly: Diagnostic Tests

How doctors diagnose acromegalyIf you've been diagnosed with acromegaly, your doctor probably ordered certain tests to confirm your diagnosis and determine the right medical plan for you. Reading about these tests may be useful when communicating with your healthcare professional—because understanding these tests can help you understand more about the acromegaly disease itself.

A Tale of 2 Tests

A reliable way to diagnose acromegaly is to measure the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) with a blood test. Another commonly used test for diagnosis is an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Take a look at the table below to learn more about these 2 tests.

Acromegaly tests

Because acromegaly involves an overproduction of growth hormone (GH), one would think that testing for GH levels would be used to make the diagnosis. However, GH levels fluctuate throughout the day and also vary based on age and how recently a person ate. Therefore, GH levels are not typically used to make a diagnosis. Some doctors do take a series of GH tests at random times and then obtain an average from the values to get an idea of GH levels.

Confirming the Diagnosis

Following the blood tests, your physician may want to confirm the diagnosis by having you get a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The majority of cases of acromegaly are caused by a pituitary tumor that is benign, or noncancerous. The MRI is a “picture” of the location and size of the tumor. This information helps your physician determine the treatment course. The MRI is usually performed at either a hospital or a clinic. 

In some rare cases of acromegaly, the MRI scan does not show a tumor. This may mean the cause of acromegaly is not a pituitary tumor.  To diagnose these rare cases, a computed tomography scan of other parts of the body may be used to look for nonpituitary tumors that cause GH overproduction.

Additional Tests

Once the diagnosis of acromegaly has been made, a few tests may be performed to check a person’s overall health, such as an electrocardiogram, chest x-ray, and eye tests. The results of these tests will also be factored into the overall treatment approach for the individual.

Share Article with a Friend

Sign me up to receive the Somatuline Depot e-bulletin and other marketing/informational materials about Somatuline Depot.

By clicking submit and providing your name, e-mail address, or other personal information, you agree that Ipsen and others working on behalf of Ipsen may send you marketing and/or educational materials about acromegaly and Somatuline Depot, use the information that you have submitted to develop or improve products and services, and contact you in the future about product- or health-related topics.

Ipsen respects the privacy of visitors to its websites, and we recognize your need for appropriate protection and management of personally identifiable information you share with us (any information by which you can be identified, including, but not limited to, name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number). Click here to read the Ipsen Privacy Policy.

To be removed from the Somatuline Depot contact list, please visit the Unsubscribe page.

What is Somatuline® Depot (lanreotide) Injection?

Somatuline Depot is a prescription medicine used for the long-term treatment of acromegaly when surgery or radiotherapy has not worked well enough or the patient is not able to have surgery or radiotherapy.

It is not known if Somatuline Depot is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

Who should not take Somatuline Depot?

Do not take Somatuline Depot if you are allergic to lanreotide.

What are the possible side effects of Somatuline Depot?

Somatuline Depot may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Gallstones. Tell your healthcare professional if you get any of these symptoms:
    • sudden pain in your upper right stomach area (abdomen)
    • sudden pain in your right shoulder or between your shoulder blades
    • yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
    • fever with chills
    • nausea
  • Changes in your blood sugar (high blood sugar or low blood sugar). If you have diabetes, test your blood sugar as your healthcare professional tells you to. Your healthcare professional may change your dose of diabetes medicine
  • Slow heart rate
  • High blood pressure

The most common side effects of Somatuline Depot in people with acromegaly include diarrhea, stomach area (abdominal) pain, nausea, and pain, itching, or a lump at the injection site.

Somatuline Depot may cause dizziness. If this happens, do not drive a car or operate machinery.

What should I tell my healthcare professional before receiving Somatuline Depot?

  • Tell your healthcare professional if you have diabetes or gallbladder, thyroid, heart, kidney, or liver problems
  • Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant as Somatuline Depot may harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Somatuline Depot passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare professional should decide if you will take Somatuline Depot or breastfeed. You should not do both
  • Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Somatuline Depot and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. Somatuline Depot may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Somatuline Depot works
  • Especially tell your healthcare professional if you take insulin or other diabetes medicines, a cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, or Sandimmune), a medicine called bromocriptine (Parlodel, Cycloset), or medicines that lower your heart rate, such as beta blockers

Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Somatuline Depot. For more information ask your healthcare professional.

You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
at 1-888-980-2889.

Click here for Patient Information and full Prescribing Information.

ipsen logo

Somatuline Depot is a registered trademark of Ipsen Pharma S.A.S.
Safe'n'Sound is a registered trademark of NEMERA LA VERPILLIERE SAS.
IPSEN CARES is a trademark of Ipsen S.A.S.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
©2017 Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. October 2016. SMD-US-000588

 

NOTE: You are about to leave an Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. website. This link is provided to you as a service to our website visitors. It will take you to another site maintained by a third party who is solely responsible for its content.

Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., does not control or endorse this site. Ipsen is not responsible for the privacy policy of any third-party websites. We encourage you to read the privacy policy of every website you visit. Click "OK" to proceed or "CANCEL" to return to acromegaly.somatulinedepot.com/hcp/.

This site is intended for U.S. healthcare professionals only. By clicking Accept, you attest that you are a healthcare professional licensed in the U.S.