Acromegaly is a syndrome characterized by a sustained elevation of circulating growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Insulin-like growth factor-1 is a potent mitogen and has a role in the transformation of normal cells to malignant cells. This study aims to evaluate the spontaneous micronucleus (MN) frequency by using the cytokinesis-block MN assay to determine genetic damage in the lymphocytes of patients with acromegaly. The study was carried out in 20 patients who had active acromegaly and in 20 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The MN values were measured in binucleated cells obtained from mitogen-stimulated lymphocytes of patients and control subjects. The distribution of binucleated cells with 1, 2, 3, or more MNs was also measured. We found significantly higher MN frequency values in the lymphocytes of acromegalic patients than in those of the control subjects (2.23 +/- 0.68 vs 1.03 +/- 0.54, P = .001). The MN frequency increased with increasing IGF-1 levels of acromegalic patients (P = .036, R = 0.47). We observed that the number of binucleated cells with 2 MNs was higher for the majority of patients with acromegaly than for control subjects. Furthermore, the receiver operating characteristic curve (area under the curve = 0.914, P < .0001) was calculated to assess the discriminative power of the MN frequency. Our results indicate that increased MN frequency in the lymphocytes of patients with acromegaly may reflect genomic instability and this increased MN frequency may be associated with elevated levels of circulating growth hormone and IGF-1. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.