BACKGROUND: In acromegaly, the gastrointestinal system is under the influence of excessive growth hormone (GH) and insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-I). Increased bowel length and delayed transit time may cause functional disturbance of the bowel. The objective of the current study is to evaluate the frequency of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in cases with acromegaly.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-three active cases with acromegaly newly diagnosed between 2010-2011 were included in the study. The control group consisted of ninety gender and age-matched healthy controls (HC). All cases were questioned for presence of IBS using Rome III criteria. Abdominal ultrasonography and colonoscopy results of acromegalic patients were obtained. In addition, cases with acromegaly were evaluated for their quality of life and status of depression by using the Acromegaly Quality of Life Questionnaire (AcroQoL) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), respectively.
RESULTS: The median GH and IGF-1 levels of cases with acromegaly were 5.72 [IQR: 2.2-34] ng/ml and 753 [IQR: 503-1050] ng/ml, respectively. The median AcroQoL score of patients with acromegaly was 56 [IQR: 43-71.5] and the median BDI score was 16 [IQR: 11-21]. Rome III diagnostic criteria were positive in 2 of 23 acromegaly patients and in 3 of 90 HC (p=0.26). IBS was present in 1 of 23 of the acromegaly patients compared to 3 of 90 HC (p=0.81).
CONCLUSION: Although acromegaly and IBS may cause similar gastrointestinal symptoms, acromegaly is not associated with a greater incidence of true IBS.