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Acromegaly: Reassessment of the Long-term Therapeutic Effectiveness of Transsphenoidal Pituitary Surgery

LAWRENCE D. SCHUSTER, M.D., Ph.D.; JOHN P. BANTLE, M.D.; JACK H. OPPENHEIMER, M.D.; and EDWARD L. SELJESKOG, M.D., Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: by grant AM 19812-03 from the National Institutes of Health and grant RR 400 from the General Clinical Research Center.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Jack H. Oppenheimer, M.D.; University of Minnesota Department of Medicine, Mayo Memorial Building, 420 Delaware Street SE; Minneapolis, MN 55455.


Minneapolis, Minnesota


© 1981 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(2):172-174. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-95-2-172
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Of 11 patients with active acromegaly treated with transsphenoidal selective pituitary adenomectomy, four failed to show evidence of clinical improvement. An additional four patients showed clinical and biochemical improvement after the surgical procedure but, with more prolonged follow-up, showed a recurrence of acromegaly. Only three patients had prolonged clinical and biochemical evidence of improvement; they had glucose suppressed growth hormone concentrations of 1.0, 2.7, and 2.8 ng/mL 22, 40, and 24 months, respectively, after the surgical procedure. Two of these three patients, however, showed an increase in growth hormone concentration after thyrotropin-releasing hormone injection, a finding that suggests the possibility of eventual relapse. Our data also clearly indicated a need for more rigorous criteria for biochemical cure of acromegaly than those used previously. Study of 20 healthy volunteers showed that growth hormone concentration should normally be suppressible to less than 2.0 ng/mL after 100 g oral glucose.

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