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Pituitary. 2013 Dec;16(4):490-8. doi: 10.1007/s11102-012-0445-1.

Growth hormone granulation pattern and somatostatin receptor subtype 2A correlate with postoperative somatostatin receptor ligand response in acromegaly: a large single center experience.

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OHSU Northwest Pituitary Center, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road (BTE 472), Portland, OR, 97239, USA.


Acromegaly is associated with serious morbidity and mortality, if not well controlled. Approved somatostatin receptor ligands (SRLs) are a mainstay of medical therapy and exhibit preferential affinity for somatostatin receptor (SSTR) subtype 2. Our objective was to assess whether characteristic features of individual growth hormone (GH)-secreting adenomas at diagnosis, correlated with SRL sensitivity, using defined tumor markers. A retrospective review of 86 consecutive acromegaly surgeries (70 patients) performed between January 2006 and December 2011 was undertaken. Patients with any preoperative medical treatment were excluded. Response to SRL therapy was defined as normalization of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and random GH < 1.0 ng/dl. Immunohistochemical staining pattern: sparsely granulated, densely granulated, mixed growth hormone-prolactin (GH/PRL) and SSRT2 positivity (+) were correlated with clinicopathologic features, adenoma recurrence, and SRL treatment response. Two-tailed t test, univariate ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis and bivariate correlation were performed using PAWS 18. The cohort eligible for analysis comprised 59 patients (41 female and 18 male). Based on pre-surgery adenoma imaging dimensions, 81.3% (48) were macroadenomas and average maximum tumor diameter was 18.1 ± 9.9 mm. Patients on SRLs were followed for 13.4 ± 15.8 (mean ± SD) months. Sparsely granulated adenomas were significantly larger at diagnosis, exhibited lower SSTR2 positivity and had a lower rate of biochemical normalization to SRLs. Densely granulated adenomas were highly responsive to SRLs. Overall, patients with SSTR2A+ adenomas responded more favorably to SRL treatment than those with SSTR2A- adenomas. Eighty-one percent of patients with SSTR2A+ adenomas were biochemically controlled (both GH and IGF1) on SRL treatment, e.g. a much higher normalization rate than that reported in the unselected acromegaly population (20-30%). Detailed knowledge of adenoma GH granularity and the immunohistochemical SSTR2A+ status is a predictor of SRL response. These immunoreactive markers should be assessed routinely on surgical specimens to assess subsequent SRL responsiveness and potential need for adjunctive therapy after surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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