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Pituitary. 2015 Jun;18(3):326-34. doi: 10.1007/s11102-014-0578-5.

Stereotactic radiosurgery for acromegaly: outcomes by adenoma subtype.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.



The subtypes of somatotroph-cell pituitary adenomas have been correlated with clinical and histopathological variables. Densely granulated somatotroph-cell (DG) adenomas are typically highly responsive to somatostatin analog drugs, whereas sparsely granulated somatotroph-cell (SG) are less responsive. The aim of the study is to determine the effect of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on remission and development of new pituitary deficiency according to the different subtypes of growth hormone (GH) secreting adenomas.


A total of 176 patients underwent SRS for acromegaly at the University of Virginia. Diagnosis of acromegaly was based on the combination of clinical features and biochemical assessment including the serum GH level, and age- and gender-matched serum insulin-like growth factor-1 level. All patients underwent endocrine and neuro-imaging evaluations before and after SRS. Histological specimens were available in 73 patients.


The histopathological examination showed 34 patients had a DG adenoma, 19 had a SG adenoma, eight had a mixed DG/SG pattern, while other rare mixed subtypes were present in 12 patients. Patients who had a SG adenoma were more likely to be younger and female, and the SG adenomas appeared to be more invasive into the cavernous sinus. With a median follow-up of 67 months (range 6-188 months), 55/73 patients (75.3%) achieved remission. The median time to remission was 26 months (range 6-102 months). The actuarial remission rates in the DG adenoma group at 2, 4, and 6 years post-radiosurgery were 35.1, 71.4, and 79.3%, respectively, while those in SG adenoma group were 35.4, 73.1, and 82.1%, respectively.


While patients who had a SG adenoma may be less responsive to medical therapy, they exhibited similar responses to SRS as patients with a DG adenoma. For SG adenomas, which respond less well to medical therapy, earlier SRS may be reasonable for consideration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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