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Efficacy and complications of neurosurgical treatment of acromegaly

By Anna Krzentowska-Korek, Filip Gołkowski, Agata Bałdys-Waligórska and Alicja Hubalewska-Dydejczyk


The aim of the study was to evaluate the frequency of occurrence of pituitary failure following neurosurgery and the efficacy of transsphenoidal tumour resection in acromegalic patients. We retrospectively evaluated 85 patients (60 female and 25 male), of mean age 43.9 ± 13.2 years, treated by transsphenoidal neurosurgery. Macroadenoma and microadenoma of pituitary were found in 66 (77.6%) and 19 (22.4%) of these patients, respectively. Criteria of cure following neurosurgery were: basal GH < 2.5 μg/l, GH at 120 min in OGTT < 1.0 μg/l and serum concentration of IGF-1 within normal ranges for age and sex. After surgery 32 patients (37.6%) were cured and 53 patients (62.4%) required somatostatin analogue treatment. In patients cured by surgery, lower levels of basal GH (P < 0.05), IGF-1 (P < 0.001), GH at 120 min in OGTT and smaller size of pituitary tumour (P < 0.05) were found at diagnosis, as compared to patients in whom surgery was unsuccessful. Significant correlation between basal serum level of GH at diagnosis and size of pituitary tumour was found (P < 0.001). Invasive tumours were found in 45 of 53 (84.9%) patients not cured and in only 8 of 32 (25.0%) patients cured (P < 0.001). Impaired function of pituitary anterior lobe after surgery was observed in 30% and 4% of patients with macro- and microadenoma, respectively (P < 0.05). The efficacy of neurosurgery is affected by concentration of basal serum GH and IGF-1, GH at 120 min in OGTT, tumour size and invasiveness. Hypopituitarism after surgery is more frequent in patients with macroadenoma. Pituitary insufficiency, as a consequence of surgery, was found in 21% of patients with normal pituitary function prior to operation

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Publisher: Springer US
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