Structural tendon changes in patients with acromegaly: assessment of Achilles tendon with sonoelastography

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Onal E. D. , Ipek A., Evranos B., Idilman I. S. , Cakir B., Ersoy R.

MEDICAL ULTRASONOGRAPHY, vol.18, no.1, pp.30-35, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.11152/mu.2013.2066.181.edo
  • Page Numbers: pp.30-35


Aims: To describe the sonoelastographic appearance of the Achilles tendon in acromegalic patients and to determine whether the blood concentrations of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) are associated with the various sonographic elasticity types of Achilles tendons. Material and methods: Eighty-four Achilles tendons of 42 acromegaly patients and 84 Achilles tendons of 42 healthy volunteers were assessed with sonoelastography. The tendons were classified into two main types according to the elasticity features: type 1 blue/green (hard tissue) and type 2 yellow/red within green (intermediate-soft tissue). Two subtypes of these types were also defined. According to the definition, the elasticity of the tissue was in a spectrum ranging from hard to soft as the type progressed from 1a to 2b. Results: The mean thickness of Achilles tendons in patients with acromegaly was significantly higher compared with healthy Achilles tendons (5.1 +/- 0.7 mm vs. 4.4 +/- 0.5, p<0.001), and patients with active disease had thicker Achilles tendons (5.5 +/- 0.8 mm vs. 4.8 +/- 0.5 mm in inactive disease, p=0.003). A significantly higher proportion of acromegaly patients had type 2 sonoelastographic appearance of the Achilles tendon (124/252 third; 49.2% vs. 81/252 third; 32.1%, p=0.0001). Activity status of acromegaly and GH/IGF-I levels were similar in patients with different types of elasticity (p>0.05). Conclusions: Sonoelastography revealed structural changes in the tendinous tissue of patients with acromegaly, but it was not sensitive enough to reflect changes in the serum levels of GH/IGF-1.