The prevalence and characteristics of colorectal neoplasia in acromegaly

Andrew G. Renehan, Pudhupalayan Bhaskar, John E. Painter, Sarah T. O'Dwyer, Najib Haboubi, Jag Varma, Stephen G. Ball, Stephen M. Shalet

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    An increased prevalence of colorectal neoplasia has been reported in acromegalic patients, and recommendations have been made for early colonoscopic screening and regular surveillance. This assumption, however, is frequently drawn from studies using selected control populations. To clarify colonoscopic management in these patients, we undertook a 2-center prospective screening colonoscopy study in 122 acromegalics (age range, 25-82 yr). In the absence of ideal agematched controls, we calculated prevalence rates of occult adenocarcinomas and adenomas in the general population using cumulative data in the published literature from 8 autopsy studies (model 1, n = 3559) and 4 screening colonoscopy studies (model 2, n = 810), applying linear regression models. Of the 115 patients with complete examinations, adenocarcinomas were discovered in 3 (2.6%), and at least 1 adenoma was found in 11, giving an overall prevalence of neoplasia of 12% (14 of 115). Prevalence rates for age bands 30-40, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+ yr were 0%, 8%, 12%, 20%, and 21%, respectively. Compared with the 2 control models, the prevalence of occult colorectal cancer was not significantly increased (acromegalics vs. models 1 and 2, 2.6% vs. 2.3% and 0.9%), nor was there an increase in the prevalence of adenomas in any age band. Pathological characteristics showed some differences, in that adenomas in acromegalics tended to be right sided (68% vs. 57%and 56%), larger (for ≥10 mm, 27% vs. 13% and 9%), and of advanced histology (for tubulovillous, 27% vs. 4% and 22%). No associations were found between the presence of colonic neoplasia and the duration of disease, total GH exposure, cure status, and serum insulin-like growth factor I. This study has failed to demonstrate an increased prevalence of neoplasia in acromegalic patients compared with the expected prevalence in the general population and questions the need for an aggressive colonoscopic screening policy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3417-3424
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Acromegaly/*epidemiology/etiology/pathology
    • Adenocarcinoma/complications/*epidemiology/pathology
    • Adenoma/complications/*epidemiology/pathology
    • Adolescent
    • Adult
    • Aged
    • Aged, 80 and over
    • Colonic Polyps/complications/*epidemiology/pathology
    • Colorectal Neoplasms/complications/*epidemiology/pathology
    • Female
    • Human
    • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3/blood
    • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I/metabolism
    • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II/metabolism
    • Insulin-Like Growth Factor-Binding Protein 2/blood
    • Male
    • Middle Age


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