Recovery from adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) has not been well discussed because of the lack of examinations including pituitary provocation tests (PPTs) before and after the procedure. This study aimed to evaluate the growth hormone (GH) axis function of patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) via pre- and postoperative PPTs. Moreover, the predictive factors for recovery from AGHD after TSS were validated to facilitate surgery for AGHD in patients with NFPA.
In total, 276 patients (median age 60.0 years) who underwent TSS for NFPA were included in this study. PPTs were performed before and 3 months after TSS. Then, the relationships between recovery from AGHD after TSS and clinical, surgical, and hormonal factors, including peak GH level based on PPTs, were evaluated statistically.
In this study, 114 patients were diagnosed with preoperative AGHD. Approximately 25.4% recovered from AGHD after TSS. In contrast, among the 162 patients without preoperative AGHD, 13 (8.0%) had newly developed postoperative AGHD. The predictive factors for recovery from AGHD were younger age, female sex, initial TSS, and high peak GH level based on preoperative PPT. According to the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, patients who were aged ≤ 62.2 years and had a peak GH level of ≥ 0.74 μg/L based on preoperative PPT were likely to recover from AGHD (sensitivity: 82.8%, specificity: 72.9%, and area under the curve: 0.8229).
AGHD caused by NFPA can improve after initial TSS among young patients with certain peak GH levels assessed by preoperative PPT. Whether TSS for NFPA can promote recovery from AGHD is worth considering in some patients.