, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 168-175,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 31 Oct 2009

Management of acromegaly in Latin America: expert panel recommendations

Abstract

Although there are international guidelines orienting physicians on how to manage patients with acromegaly, such guidelines should be adapted for use in distinct regions of the world. A panel of neuroendocrinologists convened in Mexico City in August of 2007 to discuss specific considerations in Latin America. Of major discussion was the laboratory evaluation of acromegaly, which requires the use of appropriate tests and the adoption of local institutional standards. As a general rule to ensure diagnosis, the patient’s GH level during an oral glucose tolerance test and IGF-1 level should be evaluated. Furthermore, to guide treatment decisions, both GH and IGF-1 assessments are required. The treatment of patients with acromegaly in Latin America is influenced by local issues of cost, availability and expertise of pituitary neurosurgeons, which should dictate therapeutic choices. Such treatment has undergone profound changes because of the introduction of effective medical interventions that may be used after surgical debulking or as first-line medical therapy in selected cases. Surgical resection remains the mainstay of therapy for small pituitary adenomas (microadenomas), potentially resectable macroadenomas and invasive adenomas causing visual defects. Radiotherapy may be indicated in selected cases when no disease control is achieved despite optimal surgical debulking and medical therapy, when there is no access to somatostatin analogues, or when local issues of cost preclude other therapies. Since not all the diagnostic tools and treatment options are available in all Latin American countries, physicians need to adapt their clinical management decisions to the available local resources and therapeutic options.