Effect of octreotide pretreatment on surgical outcome in acromegaly

Annamaria Colao, Diego Ferone, Paolo Cappabianca, Maria Laura Del Basso De Caro, Paolo Marzullo, Arianna Monticelli, Alessandra Alfieri, Bartolomeo Merola, Antonio Calì, Enrico De Divitiis, Gaetano Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pretreatment with octreotide (OCT) in acromegaly has been reported to improve surgical outcome. The objective of this study was to analyze retrospectively the effects of a 3-to 6-month presurgical treatment with OCT in acromegalics focusing on electrocardiographic (ECG) records, blood pressure levels, glucose and lipid profile, tumor size and consistency, easy tumor removal at surgery, and morphological findings at pathology. Fifty- nine patients with acromegaly who were undergoing surgical treatment wore studied randomly before surgery; 37 patients were untreated, and 22 were treated with OCT at doses ranging 150-600 μg/day for 3-6 months. At study entry, untreated and OCT-treated patients had similar circulating GH and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), glucose, and cholesterol levels as well as prevalence of overt diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and ECG abnormalities. In untreated and OCT-treated patients, respectively, radiological imaging documented microadenoma in 0 and 1, intrasellar macroadenoma in 10 and 6, intra- and suprasellar macroadenoma in 18 and 11, invasive macroadenoma in 9 and 4 patients. Before surgery, serum GH and IGF- I levels significantly decreased in the 22 OCT-treated aeromegalics, and in 5 of them, a significant shrinkage was documented. ECG abnormalities disappeared in 7 of 11 (63.6%) OCT-treated patients. In 3 of the 7 patients with diabetes mellitus, treatment with OCT together with low carbohydrate intake normalized blood glucose levels, whereas in 2 patients, insulin could be replaced by oral antidiabetics, and in 2 patients, the insulin dose was reduced. Presurgical blood glucose, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as systolic (145.2 ± 3.4 vs. 132.9 ± 2.5 mm Hg; P <0.01) and diastolic (94.3 ± 1.7 vs. 84.3 ± 1.6 mm Hg; P <0.001) blood pressure levels were significantly higher in untreated than in OCT-treated patients. Two weeks after surgery, circulating GH and IGF-I levels were normalized in 11 untreated (29.7%) and 12 OCT-treated (54.5%) patients (P <0.005, by χ 2 test). Macroscopically, no difference was found between untreated and OCT- treated adenomas, whereas at pathology, a significant increase in cellular atypia (31.6% vs. 19.2%; P <0.05) was found in OCT-treated adenomas. One patient in the untreated group died from cardiorespiratory arrest during the early postoperative period. Finally, the average duration of hospitalization after operation was longer in untreated than in OCT-treated patients (8.6 ± 0.7 vs. 5.6 ± 0.5 days). We conclude that a 3- to 6-month treatment with OCT before surgery for GH-secreting adenoma improved clinical conditions and surgical outcome and reduced the duration of hospitalization after operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3308-3314
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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