J Endocrinol Invest. 2024 Feb 28. doi: 10.1007/s40618-024-02340-3. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: In acromegaly, skeletal complications resulted to be associated with low quality of life (QoL) and high risk of falls. The aim of the present study was to perform a quantitative assessment of movement through gait analysis technique in patients with acromegaly.
STUDY POPULATION: Thirty-three acromegalic patients [9 with active disease (AD), 14 with controlled disease (CD) and 10 with disease remission (RD)] and 20 healthy subjects were enrolled for the study.
MEASUREMENTS: Kinetic and kinematic data were collected with 3D-gait analysis. Kinematic data were processed to compute the Gait Profile Score (GPS), a parameter that summarizes the overall deviation of kinematic gait data relative to unaffected population.
RESULTS: The acromegalic group showed longer stance phase duration (p < 0.0001) compared to controls. The GPS and several gait variable scores resulted to be statistically higher in the acromegalic group compared to healthy controls. GPS values were significantly higher in AD compared to CD (p < 0.05) and RD groups (p = 0.001). The AD group presented significantly higher values in terms of hip rotation and ankle dorsiflexion compared to CD and RD groups and with regard to the foot progression compared to RD. Interestingly, patients with RD exhibited a more physiological gait pattern.
CONCLUSION: Acromegalic patients showed quantitative alterations of gait pattern, suggesting instability and increased risk of falls. Arthropathy, along with its associated abnormal joint loading, proprioceptive impairment and hyperkyphosis could be contributing factors. Disease control and remission appear to improve postural balance. A better knowledge on walking performance in acromegaly would help to develop specific rehabilitation programmes to reduce falls’ risk and improve QoL.