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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 Dec;71(6):846-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03589.x. Epub 2009 Mar 28.

Efficacy and tolerability of gamma knife radiosurgery in acromegaly: a 10-year follow-up study.

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Department of Medical Sciences, University of Milan, Milan Unit of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Fondazione Ospedale Maggiore IRCCS, Milan, Italy.



The long-term efficacy and safety of stereotactic radiosurgery by gamma knife (GK) still remain unknown. The aim of the study was to investigate the long-term efficacy and tolerability of GK in acromegalic patients.


Retrospective analysis for a median follow-up of 10 years. Thirty-five acromegalic patients from two referral centres in Milan submitted to GK (median margin dose: 20 Gy, median % isodose: 50) between 1995 and 2004.


GH/IGF-I secretion, anterior pituitary function, radiological imaging and ophthalmological data.


Cure rate improved over time (up to 46% at 10 years), as did the proportion of patients achieving control on somatostatin analogues (from 12.5% at baseline to 50% at 10 years). Normal IGF-I values were observed in 82% of patients at their last visit. No visual impairment, disease recurrence, tumour growth or secondary cerebral tumour occurred. Half of the patients developed one or more new deficiencies, while two patients normalized their prior failures. In particular, new onset of clinical or subclinical hypoadrenalism occurred in 12/30 patients (40%), hypothyroidism in 3/28 (11%), hypogonadism in 2/15 (13%) and GH deficiency in 2/35 (6%). GH value at the time of GK was the best negative predictor of cure and margin dose was the best positive predictor of new hypopituitarism.


Over a 10-year period after GK radiosurgery, an increasing percentage of patients achieve cure, or adequate control of the disease on pharmacological therapy, at the expense of increasing novel pituitary deficiencies.

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