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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Endocrinol. | doi: 10.3389/fendo.2019.00437


  • 1DIMED, Medical Clinic 3, Department of Medicine, University of Padua, Italy
  • 2Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Padova, Italy

Acromegaly is a rare disease with an increased morbidity and mortality predominantly due to cardiovascular diseases. In this review we examined the relationship between GH/IGF-1 excess and endothelium, from basic studies to clinical evidences. Many studies involving various arterial district (microvascular arteries of retina, kidney and brain, and major vessels as carotid and aorta) showed that GH/IGF-1 excess promotes endothelial dysfunction by several mechanisms. Increased endothelial proliferation, dysfunction of endothelial progenitor cells, increased oxidative stress and decreased oxidative defences are the main factors that are associated to endothelial dysfunction. In general population these alterations are associated to the development of atherosclerosis with an increased incidence of coronary artery and cerebral disease, but in acromegaly this is still a debated issue, despite the presence of many pro-atherogenic factors and comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnoea, metabolic syndrome). Preclinical markers of atherosclerosis such as arterial intima media thickness, pulse wave velocity and flow mediated dilation seems to be impaired in acromegaly. In addition, some studies analysed microcirculation in acromegaly reporting discordant results: in general population impairment of microcirculation is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease so it would be important define its effective role in acromegaly. In conclusion, pathophysiology of endothelium dysfunction and the association to cardiovascular disease are not fully understood in acromegaly: further studies on this complex area are so necessary.

Keywords: stiffness, IMT (intimal medial thickness), Flow mediated dilatation (FMD), ANEURISMS, Microcirculation, Atheroscleosis, endothelial cell, Growth hormome, IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)

Received: 13 Mar 2019; Accepted: 18 Jun 2019.

Edited by:

Cesar L. Boguszewski, Serviço de Endocrinologia e Metabologia do Hospital de Clínicas (SEMPR), Brazil

Reviewed by:

Renan M. Montenegro Jr., Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil
Leandro Kasuki, Instituto Estadual do Cérebro Paulo Niemeyer, Brazil  

Copyright: © 2019 Maffei, Dassie, Wennberg, Parolin and Vettor. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: MD, PhD. Pietro Maffei, Medical Clinic 3, Department of Medicine, University of Padua, DIMED, Padua, Veneto, Italy,