Surgical treatment and clinical outcome of GH-secreting adenomas in elderly patients

G. Minniti, M. L. Jaffrain-Rea, V. Esposito, A. Santoro, C. Moroni, J. Lenzi, G. Tamburrano, R. Cassone, G. Cantore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients older than 65 years represent 3-5% of all acromegalic patients. The old age of the patients and the higher incidence of cardiovascular and metabolic complications related to acromegaly could increase the intra- and peri-operative risk, so that medical treatment is usually recommended as a therapy of choice. The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the impact of trans-sphenoidal surgery in a series of 22 elderly patients with active acromegaly, with special regard to anaesthesiological risk, peri-operative complications, and clinical outcome. Despite an increased anesthesiological risk being present in 16/22 patients, no complication occurred during surgery. Similarly, no post-operative mortality or major complications were observed. Biochemical cure, defined at 6 months by glucose-suppressed plasma GH levels below 1 ng/ml and normal age-corrected IGF-I value levels, was achieved in 68% of patients and no recurrence of disease was observed in the subsequent follow-up (mean 5.2 ± 2.1 years). A significant cardiovascular improvement was observed in cured patients, with a decrease of left ventricular mass index (91.3 ± 20.1 vs 115.9 ± 15.0 g/m2; P <0.005), as measured by echocardiography, as well as a slight but significant decrease of systolic and diastolic blood pressure values (130.0 ± 12.1 mmHg vs 137.6 ± 13.5 mmHg P <0.05; and 84.2 ± 6.4 mmHg vs 88.8 ± 7.5 mmHg P <0.05, respectively). A significant post-operative improvement of glucose tolerance was also observed in this group. We conclude that transsphenoidal surgery, if well planned and carefully performed, is safe and able to induce a significant cardiovascular and metabolic improvement even in elderly acromegalic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1211
Number of pages7
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Acromegaly
  • Aging
  • Transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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