Transsphenoidal microsurgery in the treatment of acromegaly and gigantism

Baha'uddin M. Arafah, Jerald S. Brodkey, Benjamin Kaufman, Manuel Velasco, Andrea Manni, Olof H. Pearson

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68 Scopus citations


Twenty-five patients with acromegaly and 3 patients with gigantism underwent transsphenoidal microsurgery in an attempt to remove the tumor and preserve normal pituitary function whenever possible. An adenoma was identified and removed in 27 of 28 patients. Evaluation 3-6 months postoperatively revealed a GH level less than 5 ng/ml in 20 patients, 5- 10 ng/ml in 4 patients and 11-29 ng/ml in 4 other patients. Dynamics of GH secretion were normal in 11 patients who had normal pituitary function and are considered cured. Two patients with low or undetectable GH levels are also considered cured at the expense of being hypopituitary. Three of 7 patients with normal basal GH levels but abnormal dynamics of GH secretion relapsed within 1 yr. Eleven of the 13 patients considered cured did not have extrasellar extension, while 14 of the 15 patients not cured had extrasellar extension. Five patients who were not cured with surgery received radiation therapy. Three patients were treated with an ergot derivative, Lergotrile mesyLite, after surgery and radiation therapy failed to normalize GR levels. Transsphenoidal microsurgery is an optimal form of therapy for patients with acromegaly or gigantism, especially thoso with no extrasellar extension. Dynamics of GH secretion are very useful in evaluating the completeness of adenoma removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-585
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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