Middle East doctors meet to tackle Acromegaly condition

The region’s first endocrine symposium has been held in Bahrain with more than 50 specialists meeting to discuss the latest developments in hormonal conditions.

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By  Stuart Qualtrough Published  May 17, 2005

The region’s first endocrine symposium has been held in Bahrain with more than 50 specialists meeting to discuss the latest developments in hormonal conditions. This scientific forum discussed the “State of the Art Management of Acromegaly & Neuroendocrine Tumors” focusing on the latest advancements in the treatment modalities of these rare disorders. Acromegaly is a hormonal disease due to pituitary tumour and can cause enlargement of the feet, hands, and face. The condition occurs when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, an indication that their may be a cancerous tumour in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. It can also lead to other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and is associated with colon cancer. “Many acromegaly patients seek treatment for various symptoms – headache, vision problems, joint pain, weak muscles, and numbness in the hands –with considerable delay in the diagnosis of the pituitary disorders” said Dr. Mohammed Ahmed who spoke at the event. He added: “Diagnoses can further be delayed because the disease typically presents itself slowly over time. But once diagnosed, there are now excellent therapies that can quickly and safely treat the chronic condition.” Dr.Imad Kana’an said: “Transphenoid microsurgery remains the first line of treatment in growth hormone producing pituitary adenomas with cure / remission rate of 65 - 80%. Evolution in neuroimaging, microsurgery, endoscopic surgery and neuronavigation coupled with advancement in medical therapeutics has enhanced treatment options and improved patient outcome.” Somatostatin analogues are used as an adjuvant treatment to normalise growth hormone levels postoperatively, as well as preoperatively, in order to treat the disease comorbidities of cardiomyopathy, hypertension etc., and in preparation for surgery in high risk patients. The anticipation of radiological, endocrinological and surgical pitfalls is of paramount importance in achieving excellent outcome in these patients.

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