Evaluation of the results of trans-sphenoidal surgery in acromegaly by assessment of growth hormone response to thyrotrophin-releasing hormone

G. Faglia, A. Paracchi, C. Ferrari, P. Beck-Peccoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Eighteen acromegalic patients GH-responsive to TRH were reinvestigated following trans-sphenoidal surgery and radiotherapy. Basal serum GH decreased below 10 μg/l in thirteen cases; nine of them became GH-unresponsive to TRH 1 month after operation, and another one following conventional pituitary irradiation. Four of these ten patients also showed a normal GH response to L-Dopa after treatment, and five responded normally to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia; two patients had a normal GH secretory pattern after both these stimuli. No recurrences were observed over a follow-up period of 15-80 months among the ten patients who became GH-unresponsive to TRH following operation, while one of the three subjects still responsive to TRH in spite of normalized basal serum GH concentration relapsed 10 months after surgery. Three patients with normalized TRH test following operation were repeatedly reinvestigated over a 3-6 years period and always found unresponsive. The present study shows that the 'paradoxical' GH responses to TRH and L-Dopa frequently disappear after surgery, that complete normalization of GH secretory pattern may rarely be attained, and that the disappearance of GH response to TRH probably indicates satisfactory treatment of acromegaly. These data suggest that the 'paradoxical' GH responses frequently found in acromegaly are dependent on the adenoma per se and not on hypothalamic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Volume8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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