Lung size was evaluated with pulmonary function tests in 10 patients with acromegaly, 1 pituitary giant, and 1 patient who had acromegaly but now has hypopituitarism. In the six acromegalic men all lung volumes were increased. The average values and per cent of predicted were total lung capacity 9.1 liters. 139%; functional residual capacity 5.2 liters, 145%; vital capacity 6.0 liters, 134%; and tissue volume 1.1 liters. There was no evidence of airflow obstruction or air trapping. Anatomic dead space was increased in proportion to the large lung volumes. Lung compliance was increased, averaging 0.43 liters/cm H2O, but lung elastic recoil was normal. These studies show that the lung is involved in the general visceromegaly of acromegaly and that lung size increases in acromegalic men as a result of actual lung growth. Despite the large lung volumes, diffusing capacity was normal suggesting that lung growth resulted from an increase in the size rather than from an increase in the number of alveoli. In contrast to the acromegalic men, lung volumes, anatomic dead space and tissue volume were normal in four acromegalic women, suggesting that sex hormones may modify the effect of growth hormone on the lung. Lung size was large in the pituitary giant but lung volumes were normal according to predicted values based on the patient's great height. Lung volumes were normal in the one male who had been acromegalic but who has been hypopituitary for 21 yr. The role of growth hormone in normal postnatal lung growth and in the maintainance of normal lung size remains to be defined.
Jerome S. Brody, Aron B. Fisher, Ayhan Gocmen, Arthur B. DuBois