The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between growth hormone (GH) dynamic tests (thyrotropin-releasing hormone [TRH] test and oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT]), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) plasma values, tumor size, and clinical outcome in patients with GH-secreting pituitary adenomas. Furthermore, we investigated the potential prognostic utility of the above biochemical parameters in the follow-up of patients with acromegaly. We studied 50 acromegalic patients (18 males and 32 females; mean age, 40 years; range, 16 to 69) who underwent trans-sphenoidal removal of a GH-secreting pituitary adenoma from 1990 to 1994. Preoperatively, we evaluated (1) GH plasmatic levels after an oral glucose load (OGTT) (blood samples were drawn at -15, 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 minutes after oral administration of 0.75 g/kg body weight [BW] of glucose), (2) GH plasma levels after a TRH test (200 μg as an intravenous [IV] bolus), and (3) basal IGF-I plasma levels after an overnight fast. From 3 to 12 months after surgery we evaluated (1) GH plasma values after an OGTT, and (2) basal plasma IGF-I, free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and urinary free cortisol. The same tests were performed every year for 5 years. All of the patients were classified into 4 subgroups according to the system of Hardy and Vezina. Preoperatively, "controlled" patients (n = 29) had a GH paradoxical response to TRH (n = 28) and an unresponsiveness to OGTT (n = 29); 23 of them belonged to the I and II classes. Only 5 poorly controlled patients (n = 21) showed a preoperative paradoxical response to TRH and 9 had a preoperative GH partial inhibition after OGTT; 19 of them belonged to the III and IV classes. Our data suggest that in the preoperative period in acromegalic patients the simultaneous presence of a GH paradoxical response to TRH and lack of GH inhibition after OGTT is inversely related to the tumor size and therefore more likely to be restored to normal by surgical treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism