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Prevalence of sleep apnea and metabolic abnormalities in patients with acromegaly and analysis of cephalometric parameters by magnetic resonance imaging.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of sleep apnea (SA) and SA syndrome (SAS) in patients with acromegaly and correlate SA with clinical, laboratory, and cephalometric parameters.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Prospective and cross-sectional study of 24 patients with active acromegaly evaluated by clinical and laboratory (GH, IGF-I) parameters, polysomnography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pharynx.

RESULTS: Out of 24 patients, 21 had SA (87.5%), of which 20 (95.3%) had the predominant obstructive type. Median age of these 21 patients was 54 years (range 23-75) and median estimated disease duration was 60 months (range 24-300). The frequency in SA patients of impaired glucose tolerance, diabetes mellitus (DM), and hypertension was 19, 33.3, and 71.4% respectively. Goiter was found in 10 patients (47.6%) and obesity in 18 (90%). Median GH level was 14 mug/l (1.4-198) and median %IGF-I (percentage above the upper limit of normal range of IGF-I) was 181% (-31.6 to 571.2). The prevalence of SAS was 52.4%. Apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) correlated significantly with age, waist circumference, body mass index, and hypopharynx area. The AHI was significantly higher in patients with hypertension and DM.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of SA and SAS in acromegaly was similar to the one previously described in other series. Age was a significant risk factor, and hypertension and DM were significantly associated complications of SA. Obesity was also significantly related to SA, as a risk factor, a complication or both. Overall, cephalometric parameters by MRI did not correlate with SA.

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