OBJECTIVES: Acromegaly is associated by various systemic complications, involving also the nervous system. Other studies revealed peripheral but not central nervous system impairment with somatosensory evoked potentials examinations in acromegaly. Aim of the present study was to assess whether brainstem transmission in acromegaly is disturbed.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was carried out in 37 patients. The control group consisted of 47 healthy persons. In all of the subjects, peripheral transmission, reflected by peak I latency, and brainstem transmission, tested by interpeak latency I-V (IPL I-V), were examined.
RESULTS: Peak I latency was delayed in 6 out of 37 patients (1 - bilaterally, 2 - right side, 3 - left side). The group-mean latency of peak I was 1.53 msec and 1.56 msec, for the right and left side, respectively. There were found no statistically significant differences between the right and left side, likewise in comparison with control group. In turn, as compared with the controls, IPL I-V was disturbed in 25 out of 37 patients: in most of the cases IPL I-V prolongation was observed (8 - bilateral prolongation, 11 - right side, 6 - left side). Moreover, the statistically significant difference between the brainstem sides (4.27 vs. 4.11 msec; p<0.05) was observed.
CONCLUSION: In the examined patients with acromegaly, there was no peripheral disturbance in transmission, as examined by BAEPs registrations. Conversely, in nearly half of the patients with acromegaly, brainstem transmission was found to be delayed, and significant difference between responses from the both sides of the brainstem were noted.