Increased Prevalence of Gallbladder Polyps in Acromegaly

K Anand, E Gayton, A Webb, D. Halsall, Caoimhe Rice, Ferda Ibram, Afzal Chaudhy, H Simpson, Lawrence Berman, M Gurnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Several studies have suggested an increased prevalence of benign and malignant tumors in acromegaly, particularly colonic neoplasms. The gallbladder’s epithelial similarity to the colon raises the possibility that gallbladder polyps (GBP) may occur more frequently in acromegaly.
Patients and Methods: Thirty-one patients with newly diagnosed acromegaly (14 females, 17 males; mean age 54.7 yr, range 27–76 yr) were referred to our center between 2004 and 2008. All had pituitary adenomas and were treated with somatostatin analogs prior to transsphenoidal surgery. Biliary ultrasonography was performed at the time of referral. In a retrospective casecohort study, we compared the prevalence of GBP in these scans with those of 13,234 consecutive patients (age range 20 –80 yr) presenting at the hospital for abdominal/biliary ultrasound during the same time interval. Associations between GH and IGF-I levels and GBP in acromegaly were also examined.
Results: There was a higher prevalence of GBP in patients with acromegaly compared with controls (29.03 vs 4.62%, P = 0.000008); relative risk was 6.29 (95% confidence interval 3.61–10.96). Eight of nine patients with acromegaly and GBP were older than 50 yr of age. GH levels were higher in those with GBP (median 30.8 g/liter, interquartile range 10.9 –39.1) than those without (8.2 microg/liter, interquartile range 6.0 –16.0), but IGF-I levels were comparable. Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate an increased prevalence of GBP in patients with newly diagnosed acromegaly. Further studies are required to determine whether these patients are at increased risk of developing gallbladder carcinoma and to define the role, if any, of biliary ultrasound surveillance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1120-E1125
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number7
Early online date1 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


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