Feline acromegaly

Greco DS.

Topics in companion animal medicine 2012;27:31-35.

Acromegaly, or hypersomatotropism, results from chronic, excessive secretion of growth hormone in the adult animal. The anabolic effects of growth hormone are exerted through the intermediary hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, which is produced in the liver under the influence of growth hormone. Feline acromegaly is caused by a pituitary adenoma that secretes excessive amounts of growth hormone. Characteristic effects of excessive growth hormone secretion include the development of diabetes mellitus and growth of the acral segments of the body (jaw, extremities, skull, etc.). Acromegaly occurs in older, predominately male cats and is often associated with diabetes mellitus. Other clinical signs include stridor, enlargement of the jaw and extremities, lean weight gain, and organomegaly (heart, liver, kidney, etc.). Diagnosis is made by documentation of increased levels of growth hormone or insulin-like growth factor (or both) and demonstration of a pituitary mass via magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. The most effective treatment to date has been radiation therapy. Prognosis is fair to good with proper treatment.