Abstract Growth hormone (GH) is fundamental for the maintenance of bone mass and metabolism both during childhood and in adulthood. This effect is due to a complex interaction between circulating GH and IGF-I produced peripherally. In vitro data and experimental animal models have clarified many of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the characteristic skeletal changes occurring in acromegaly. This review focuses on the effects of GH excess on bone metabolism and mass in acromegalic patients and, in particular, on the influence of factors such as hypogonadism, gender, age and therapy on bone metabolism and arthropathy. © Springer-VerlagItalia 2006.