Effects of a chronic treatment with octreotide in patients with functionless pituitary adenomas

Bartolomeo Merola, Annamaria Colao, Diego Ferone, Antonello Selleri, Antonella Di Sarno, Paolo Marzullo, Bernadette Biondi, Renato Spazinate, Emanuela Rossi, Gaetano Lombardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of a chronic treatment with octreotide were evaluated in 19 patients affected with functionless pituitary adenomas. Octreotide caused a significant decrease of GH and IGF-I levels in all the patients and no significant change in thyroid, adrenal and gonadal function. In contrast, during the therapy, the glucose response to an oral glucose tolerance test considerably increased and was delayed, while the insulin response decreased and was delayed. Serum a-subunit (α-SU) was above normal in 10 of 16 patients in which this evaluation was performed: octreotide caused a significant decrease (p <0.01) of a-SU levels in 6 of these 10 patients. Octreotide did not induce any significant change in visual fields except in 1 patient, who had a great improvement of visual perimetry and a decrease of α-SU levels but unmodified CT scan features. In our series of patients, octreotide was ineffective in reducing tumor mass. The efficacy of octreotide might rely on the presence of somatostatin receptors on adenoma-cell membranes. Therefore patients with functionless adenomas to be treated with octreotide might be identified with pituitary scintiscan using the recently available labeled111In-octreotide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • GH
  • Glucose
  • IGF-I
  • Insulin
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Somatostatin
  • α-Subunit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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