A selection of websites on acromegaly

Dr Keith Barnard recommends websites relating to acromegaly

Covering the field

This article, in true eMedicine style, covers almost everything you will want to know about acromegaly and more. There are 10 sections, and the pathophysiology is one of the best.

You should be clear about what is going on in this condition from reading this paragraph. The rest covers symptoms, signs, investigations and treatment. However, a few diagrams or illustrations would make this easier to digest.

Why go there: If you want to know it all.
Downside: Heavy going.
Information from: Division of Endocrinology, University of Saskatchewan.
Address: www.emedicine.com/med/topic27.htm

Treating acromegaly

It is difficult to find a concise account of the treatment of acromegaly that does not involve either drug company sponsorship, or an overlap with other aspects such as investigations and diagnosis.

This editorial concentrates on treatment alone, and covers surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, radiotherapy and medical treatment.

It is all here, but there is perhaps more detail than a GP needs. But as editorials go, this one is readable and interesting.

Why go there: More than enough information.
Downside: Does not include pegvisomant.
Information from: QJM, Oxford Journals.
Address: http://qjmed.oxforjournals.org/cgi/content/full/93/1/1

Test yourself

I enjoy case histories, and if they involve a quiz, so much the better. This example concerns a woman whose rings don’t fit her any more, so in the context of this Medicine on the Web, you can see where it’s going.

There is a good quality photograph, and an MRI scan of the brain. The MRI is presented unlabelled, and it is a crafty one, because there is more than one pathological abnormality present on it. The labelled version reveals all.

Why go there: An entertaining way to learn.
Downside: None.
Information from: American Academy of Family Physicians.
Address: www.aafp.org/afp/20050501/photo.html

Images of acromegaly

This slideshow could prove useful for GP trainers, as it is designed as a teaching aid aimed at medical students and junior hospital doctors.

It covers a lot of ground, but the main points of interest for me are the illustrations. You will find these on slides nine to 22, and they are well worth a look. It is not just a series of big hands and coarse faces, but includes MRI scans, circus side-show exploitation, sinus X-rays and images of widely-spaced teeth.

Why go there: Excellent images.
Downside: You can’t download the slides all in one go.
Information from: Loyola University, Chicago.
Address: www.meddean.luc.edu/lumen/MedEd/medicine/endonew/acromegaly/slide1.htm

Dr Barnard is a former GP in Fareham, Hampshire

Website of the week

These pages are full of eye-catching images, useful tables and clear language all help to make this worth adding to your favourites. It is also up-to-date, having been published in September.

This piece concerns itself with the clinical signs and diagnosis of acromegaly, and in just four pages you will find the essentials.

UK GPs were recently found, in a survey, to provide a better service than those in the US, and also than most of the rest of Europe. If anyone were to look at the table that summarises the clinical manifestations of acromegaly, they might understand how difficult it is to be a GP. We see many of the symptoms regularly, yet we have to pick out the three in a million that might have the disease.

Why go there: Clear and colourful.
Downside: None.
Information from: Hospital Pharmacist.
Address: www.pjonline.com/pdf/hp/200609/hp_200609_diagnosis.pdf

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