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Thursday, March 13th 2008

Diagnosing On The Fly

A doctor in England meets a man, takes a look at him, shakes his hand and becomes convinced the man has acromegaly.

It was nothing more than a warm handshake between two people meeting for the first time – but it was a gesture that saved Mark Gurrieri’s life.

The hand that clasped his belonged to a GP, Dr Chris Britt, who noticed a ‘fleshy and spongy’ feeling which instantly triggered his professional concern.

A glance at Mr Gurrieri’s large facial features all but confirmed his suspicions and set alarm bells ringing.


Dr Britt said: “As soon as I saw him I thought he looked like somebody who had acromegaly. When I shook his hand it felt fleshy, which is caused by the soft tissue being deposited.

“When I was a medical student I was at Barts Hospital in London where I saw a few people with the condition because it is a specialist centre for treating it. But it is extremely rare.”

Just an interesting story.