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Dimopoulou, Christina; Leistner, Sarah M.; Ising, Marcus; Schneider, Harald J.; Schopohl, Jochen; Rutz, Sandra; Kosilek, Robert; Frohner, Richard; Stalla, Gunter K.; Sievers, Caroline (2017): Body Image Perception in Acromegaly Is Not Associated with Objective Acromegalic Changes but Depends on Depressive Symptoms. In: Neuroendocrinology, Vol. 105, No. 2: pp. 115-122
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Objective: Diagnosis of acromegaly is delayed up to 10 years after disease onset despite obvious external/objective changes such as bone and soft tissue deformities. We hypothesized that a lack of subjective perception of the disease state, possibly mediated by psychiatric or cognitive alterations, might contribute to the delayed initiation of a diagnostic workup. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: We investigated perceived body image by standardized questionnaires (FKB-20: Fragebogen zum Korperbild;FBeK: Fragebogen zur Beurteilung des eigenen Korpers) in 81 acromegalic patients and contrasted them to (a) a clinical control group of 60 patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) who lack severe facial and physical alterations and (b) healthy controls. We further evaluated body image in relation to objective acromegalic changes as judged by medical experts and psychiatric pathology, e.g. depression and cognitive impairment. Results: Patients with acromegaly did not lack subjective perception of the disease state;they showed more negative body image, less vitality, more insecurity/paresthesia and more accentuation of the body compared to normal controls. NFPA patients differed from acromegalic patients only in the 'vital body dynamics' scale of the FKB-20, although they hardly exhibit any physical/bodily changes. Depression correlated with worse body image. No associations were found between body image and objective acromegalic changes as judged by medical experts, cognitive decline or treatment status. Conclusions: Negative body image in acromegalic patients is unrelated to their objective appearance and similar to those of NFPA patients without major bodily changes. Depression, but not cognitive decline or treatment status, contributes to negative body image. (C) 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel