Visual field testing looks for defects in your eyesight that might be caused by the pituitary tumour pressing on the eye’s nerves.
During the test, the optometrist or ophthalmologist performing the test will ask you to stare at a screen and to press a button when you think you see a light flash across the screen.
Visual field testing is a painless test and takes up to 30 minutes to perform. There is no need for any special preparations before you have the test.
Echocardiography is a type of ultrasound test that produces pictures of your heart and can help to assess how well your heart is working.
It is a painless test.
During this test, you will be asked to remove your upper clothing and a small amount of gel will be placed on your chest. A small, hand-held wand, called a transducer, will then be gently pressed onto the chest and moved around to see your heart.
The test is painless, and the whole process should take up to 1 hour. Results will be sent to a cardiologist who will discuss the findings with you.
People with acromegaly can have a coexisting condition called sleep apnoea. If you have sleep apnoea, the walls of your throat come together while you sleep, blocking off your upper airway. You stop breathing for a period of time (generally between ten seconds and up to one minute) until your brain registers the lack of breathing, or a drop in oxygen levels, and sends a small wake-up call. This causes you to rouse slightly, open your upper airway, possibly snort and gasp, and then drift back to sleep almost immediately. In most cases, you won’t even realise you are waking up.
This pattern can repeat hundreds of times every night, causing you to have fragmented sleep that can leave you feeling unrefreshed in the morning, with excessive daytime sleepiness, poor daytime concentration and work performance, and fatigue.
A sleep study (polysomnography) can be a way of determining how well you sleep and how serious any sleep problems may be.
Sleep studies are painless and usually involve visiting a hospital centre that specialises in diagnosing and treating people with sleep disorders.
Depending on your age and other signs or symptoms you may be referred for a colonoscopy. This is because acromegaly can be associated with a small increase in the risk for colon cancer.
This test looks at the inside of your large bowel (colon) and can be used to screen for small benign growths called polyps. Bowel polyps are common but some are linked to the development of colorectal cancer.
You will need to clear your bowel before the procedure. You will need take a specific bowel preparation for this. You will be given full instructions on what to do prepare for the test.
A gastroenterologist performs a colonoscopy. To perform the test he or she will insert a long, thin and very flexible tubular instrument called a colonoscope up into bowel (through your rectum).
The colonoscope consists of a fibreoptic device that sends back pictures of the inside of your bowel to a computer in real-time. A biopsy might be taken of any tissue that does not look normal.
People with acromegaly may be referred for a bone scan (or bone mineral density scan) and an x-ray of the spine.
This is to check how strong their bones are and measures calcium and other types of minerals in an area of the bone.
‘Quality of life’ is a term used to describe the overall physical, social, and emotional well-being of an individual or a number of individuals.
Quality of life is measured using short questionnaires that ask a patient to rate the answers to questions or statements.
A score is then calculated so a person’s health-related quality of life can be “measured”. This quality of life score, and how it changes over time, can give doctors an idea of how your quality of life is being affected by acromegaly or its treatment.
This information is important for guiding treatment of the individual patient and also helps doctors and researchers to decide which treatments work well and to develop better treatments that will have as little negative impact on quality of life as possible.
There are many questionnaires, which you may hear called ‘quality of life instruments’, that can be used, but there is only one specifically developed to measure quality of life in people with acromegaly called the Acromegaly Quality of Life Questionnaire or AcroQoL. This is a useful tool to help you talk to your doctor.
Learn about acromegaly including what causes this slowly evolving condition, and the early signs and symptomsLearn about acromegaly
Read about acromegaly treatment options, including surgery, medications and radiotherapy, and the goals of therapyTreating acromegaly
Read and hear answers to some common questions that patients with acromegaly have askedView FAQs