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 you will be asked to stare at a screen indicated to you by the optometrist or ophthalmologist performing the test. You will be asked to report when you see lights flashing across your visual fields.
Visual field testing is a painless test and takes up to 30 minutes to perform. It does require a degree of concentration which some people find a challenge. There is no need for any special preparations before you have the test.
Echocardiography looks at the heart using sound waves and can help to assess how well your heart muscle is working.
It is a painless test, but you will need to remove your upper clothing and a small amount of clear lubricating jelly will be placed on your chest.
During this test a small, hand-held probe called a transducer will then be gently pressed onto the chest and moved around to see your heart.
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. This is a condition characterised by temporarily stopping breathing while you are asleep
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.
People with acromegaly may be referred for a bone scan (or bone mineral density scan). This is to check how strong their bones are and measures calcium and other types of minerals in an area of the bone.
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 by eating a low-residue diet and take laxatives before you have this test. You will be given full instructions on what to do.
A gastroenterologist performs 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.
‘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.
In the context of health and disease, quality of life measurement is performed to find out how a person’s life is affected by a disability or illness.
This can be done by using short questionnaires that present several questions or statements to a patient who is asked to rate the answers.
A score is then computed and by doing this computation, a person’s health-related quality of life can be “measured”. This score, and how it changes over time, or from the start to the end of a treatment can give doctors an idea of how your quality of life is being affected by acromegaly or its treatment.
This information is not only important for guiding the treatment of the individual patient but 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.
Measuring quality of life is therefore a way to assess how acromegaly and its treatment may be affecting you and your life in general.
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