Predictive Markers for Postsurgical Medical Management of Acromegaly: A Systematic Review and Consensus Treatment Guideline Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Objective: To clarify the selection of medical therapy following transsphenoidal surgery in patients with acromegaly, based on growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) response and glucometabolic control. Methods: We carried out a systematic literature review on three of the best studied and most practical predictive markers of the response to somatostatin analogues (SSAs): somatostatin receptor (SSTR) expression, tumor morphologic classification, and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signal intensity. Additional analyses focused on glucose metabolism in treated patients. Results: The literature survey confirmed significant associations of all three factors with SSA responsiveness. SSTR expression appears necessary for the SSA response; however, it is not sufficient, as approximately half of SSTR2-positive tumors failed to respond clinically to first-generation SSAs. MRI findings (T2-hypo-intensity) and a densely granulated phenotype also correlate with SSA efficacy, and are advantageous as predictive markers relative to SSTR expression alone. Glucometabolic control declines with SSA monotherapy, whereas GH receptor antagonist (GHRA) monotherapy may restore normoglycemia. Conclusion: We propose a decision tree to guide selection among SSAs, dopamine agonists (DAs), and GHRA for medical treatment of acromegaly in the postsurgical setting. This decision tree employs three validated predictive markers and other clinical considerations, to determine whether SSAs are appropriate first-line medical therapy in the postsurgical setting. DA treatment is favored in patients with modest IGF-1 elevation. GHRA treatment should be considered for patients with T2-hyperintense tumors with a sparsely granulated phenotype and/or low SSTR2 staining, and may also be favored for individuals with diabetes. Prospective analyses are required to test the utility of this therapeutic paradigm. Abbreviations: DA = dopamine agonist; DG = densely granulated; GH = growth hormone; GHRA = growth hormone receptor antagonist; HbA1c = glycated hemoglobin; IGF-1 = insulin-like growth factor-1; MRI = magnetic resonance imaging; SG = sparsely granulated; SSA = somatostatin analogue; SSTR = somatostatin receptor.


  • Ezzat, Shereen
  • Caspar-Bell, Gudrun Martina
  • Chik, Constance L
  • Denis, Marie-Claire
  • Domingue, Marie-Ève
  • Imran, Syed Ali
  • Johnson, Michelle D
  • Lochnan, Heather A
  • Grégoire Nyomba, BL
  • Prebtani, Ally
  • Ridout, Rowena
  • Ramirez, Juan Andres Rivera
  • Van Uum, Stan

publication date

  • April 2019