Treatment outcomes following initial transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for acromegaly are erratic. Identifying outcome patterns can assist in informing patients about possible treatment outcomes and planning for individualized adjuvant treatments in advance. In this study, the authors aimed to investigate the immediate and long-term endocrine remission rates following initial TSS for acromegaly, identify clinical determinants of treatment outcomes, and explore outcome patterns during a long-term follow-up and the pattern-specific patient features.
This prospective, single-center, longitudinal cohort study enrolled patients with acromegaly who underwent TSS in the period from 2015 to 2018 at the authors’ institution. Immediate remission, assessed on the 2nd postoperative morning, and long-term remission, assessed at least 18 months after TSS, were evaluated according to the strict 2010 consensus criteria (random growth hormone [GH] < 1 ng/ml or GH nadir < 0.4 ng/ml after oral glucose tolerance test, and age- and sex-normalized insulin-like growth factor 1). Univariate and bivariate regression analyses were used to identify determinants of remission.
A total of 659 patients with acromegaly (average age 42 years, 44% males) underwent TSS for pituitary adenomas (macroadenomas, 85%; invasive tumors, 35%) and were followed up during a median of 51 months. Immediate and long-term remission rates after initial TSS were 37% and 69%, respectively. Older age at diagnosis (OR 1.7), male sex (OR 1.6), smaller tumors (OR 2.0), noninvasive tumors (OR 4.8), and tumors positive for follicle-stimulating hormone/luteinizing hormone (OR 1.5) were predictors of immediate surgical remission. In addition to the above predictors, lower preoperative GH (OR 2.4), absence of preoperative central hypothyroidism (OR 2.6), and endoscopic TSS (OR 10.6) were predictors of long-term remission. Regression analyses revealed that endoscopic TSS (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.524–5.291, p = 0.001), absence of cavernous sinus invasion (OR 4.1, 95% CI 2.522–6.613, p < 0.001), older age (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.006–1.048, p = 0.013), and male sex (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.224–3.247, p = 0.006) were independent determinants of long-term remission. Five outcome patterns were identified based on the changes in hormonal results during follow-up, including continuous remission (34%), refractory acromegaly (28%), delayed remission (21%), remission after adjuvant therapy (14%), and recurrence after initial remission (3%). The clinical characteristics of each subgroup were identified.
Cavernous sinus invasion, age at diagnosis, and sex are the best determinants of immediate and long-term remission after initial TSS for acromegaly. Endoscopic TSS predicts a higher long-term remission rate than that with microscopic TSS. The authors identified five outcome patterns in acromegaly and group-specific patient characteristics for clinical decision-making.