• Cranial irradiation and growth hormone neurosecretory dysfunction: a critical appraisal.

      Darzy, Ken H; Pezzoli, Suzan S; Thorner, Michael O; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, United Kingdom. stephen.m.shalet@man.ac.uk. (2007-05)
      CONTEXT: It has been suggested that radiation-induced GH neurosecretory dysfunction exists in children; however, the pathophysiology is poorly understood, and it is unknown if such a phenomenon exists in adult life. STUDY SUBJECTS: Twenty-four-hour spontaneous GH secretion was studied by 20-min sampling both in the fed state (n = 16; six women) and the last 24 h of 33-h fast (n = 10; three women) in adult cancer survivors of normal GH status defined by two GH provocative tests, 13.1 +/- 1.6 (range, 3-28) yr after cranial irradiation (18-40 Gy) for nonpituitary brain tumors (n = 12) or leukemia (n = 4) in comparison with 30 (nine women) age- and body mass index-matched normal controls (fasting, 11 men and three women). RESULTS: Using previously published diagnostic thresholds, all patients had stimulated peak GH responses in the normal range to both the insulin tolerance test and the combined GHRH plus arginine stimulation test, as well as normal individual mean profile GH levels during the fed and fasting states. However, gender-specific comparisons revealed marked reduction (by 40%) in the overall peak GH responses to both provocative tests but similar GH secretory profiles; no differences were seen in the pulsatile attributes of GH secretion (cluster analysis) or the profile absolute and mean GH levels in the fed state or when the hypothalamic-pituitary axis was stimulated by fasting. CONCLUSIONS: Radiation-induced GH neurosecretory dysfunction either does not exist or is a very rare phenomenon in irradiated adult cancer survivors. The normality of physiological GH secretion in the context of reduced maximum somatotroph reserve suggests compensatory overdrive of the partially damaged somatotroph axis and constitutes a relative argument against somatotroph dysfunction being explained purely by hypothalamic damage with secondary atrophy due to GHRH deficiency. It is therefore possible that radiation in doses less than 40 Gy causes dual damage to both the pituitary and the hypothalamus.
    • Cranially irradiated adult cancer survivors may have normal spontaneous GH secretion in the presence of discordant peak GH responses to stimulation tests (compensated GH deficiency).

      Darzy, Ken H; Thorner, Michael O; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. (2009-02)
      CONTEXT: We have previously demonstrated that spontaneous (physiological) GH secretion was entirely normal in cranially irradiated patients who had normal individual peak GH responses to the insulin tolerance test (ITT) but reduced maximal somatotroph reserve as indicated by substantially reduced group GH responses to the GHRH + arginine stimulation test (AST). The normality of spontaneous GH secretion was attributed to a compensatory increase in hypothalamic stimulatory input within a partially damaged hypothalamic-pituitary (h-p) axis. It is unknown, however, if such compensatory stimulation can also maintain normality of GH secretion in those who fail the ITT but pass the GHRH + AST. STUDY SUBJECTS AND DESIGN: We studied 24-h spontaneous GH secretion by 20-min sampling both in the fed state (n = 11) and in the last 24 h of a 33-h fast (n = 9) in adult cancer survivors with subnormal peak GH responses to the ITT but either normal or relatively less attenuated peak GH responses to the GHRH + AST. The study was conducted 8.3 +/- 1.8 (range 2-23) years after cranial irradiation for nonpituitary brain tumours (n = 9) or leukaemia/lymphoma (n = 2) in comparison with 30 normal controls (fasting, 14). RESULTS: Previously published diagnostic thresholds for the ITT, GHRH + AST and spontaneous GH secretion were used to characterize GH secretion. Four of the 11 patients with impaired stimulated responses to both tests showed only minor discordancies between stimulated and spontaneous GH secretion. Two of the remaining seven patients had subnormal spontaneous GH secretion. However, spontaneous GH secretion, both individually and as a group, was entirely normal in the remaining five patients who had impaired GH responses to the ITT but normal individual responses to the GHRH + AST; in these five patients, IGF-I standard deviation scores (SDS; -2.7 to -0.8) were significantly reduced to a moderate degree compared with normals. CONCLUSIONS: In cranially irradiated adult cancer survivors, it cannot be assumed that failure to pass the ITT in isolation reflects severe GH deficiency (GHD). It appears that in some patients near-maximal compensatory overdrive of the partially damaged somatotroph axis may result in near-normal quantitative restoration of spontaneous GH secretion, thus limiting further stimulation with the ITT to the extent that impaired GH responses can be seen even before spontaneous GH secretion starts to decline in adults. However, IGF-I status continues to provide useful information about the adequacy of the compensatory process and therefore the degree of normality of GH secretion.
    • The diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in successfully treated acromegalic patients.

      Murray, Robert D; Peacey, Steven R; Rahim, Asad; Toogood, Andy; Thorner, Michael O; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK (2001-01)
      Due to persistent qualitative abnormalities in GH secretion following treatment, and lack of a sensitive marker of GHD in mid-adult life it is extremely difficult to diagnose GHD in treated acromegalic patients. The diagnosis of GHD in patients with pituitary disease relies on provocative tests of GH reserve. Arginine releases GH by reducing somatostatin inhibition of GH release, whereas GH secretagogues (GHS) affect GH release by direct stimulation of the GHS receptor, though an intact GH releasing hormone (GHRH) axis is a prerequisite. The peak GH response to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia and arginine in acromegalic patients, in whom basal serum GH levels of less than 5 mU/l have been achieved, is greatly diminished in those treated by hypothalamo-pituitary irradiation. We aimed to study the response of successfully treated acromegalic patients to the growth hormone secretagogue hexarelin in view of its different putative mechanism of action, and in addition, to determine whether it has any value in the diagnosis of GH deficiency in this subset of patients. Nineteen acromegalic patients, in whom mean serum GH levels below 5 mU/l have been achieved through treatment, were recruited. Eight of the patients had been treated by surgery alone (Group A) and 11 had received primary or postoperative irradiation (Group B). All patients underwent 20 min blood sampling to provide a 24-h GH profile. Serum IGF-I was measured from a sample drawn between 0900 h and 1000 h. On a second visit arginine 20 g/m2 was infused over 30 min, blood samples were taken before commencing the infusion and at 30-min intervals thereafter for 180 min. At the final visit hexarelin 1.5 mcg/kg was administered as an intravenous bolus at t = 0. Blood was drawn at 15-min intervals from - 30 to 180 min. All patients in group A showed an increment in serum GH following hexarelin (DeltaGHHEX) > 20 mU/l, a normal response to arginine, and a mean 24-h GH > 0.5 mU/l. In group B only 4/11 achieved a DeltaGHHEX > 20 mU/l, 5/11 producing a response of < 2 mU/l. Four of the five patients with a DeltaGHHEX < 2 mU/l were also demonstrated to have a mean 24-h GH of < 0.5 mU/l and serum IGF-I SDS < + 0.5. All four patients in Group B who achieved a DeltaGHHEX > 20 mU/l, were observed to show an absent or minimal GH response to arginine. Despite loss of the GH response to arginine, the DeltaGHHEX is retained in a proportion of those patients in whom "safe" GH levels were achieved following irradiation. From the putative mechanisms of action of these provocative agents a plausible explanation would be that the GHRH axis is more resilient than endogenous somatostatin-secreting neurones to radiation-induced damage. Furthermore, GH secretagogues may have a role, in combination with serum IGF-I levels, in the diagnosis of GH deficiency in treated acromegaly.
    • The diagnosis of severe growth hormone deficiency in elderly patients with hypothalamic-pituitary disease.

      Toogood, Andy; Jones, Jenny; O'Neill, Paul A; Thorner, Michael O; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Withington, Manchester, UK. (1998-05)
      OBJECTIVE: Adults over the age of 60 years with organic disease of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis may be deficient in growth hormone (GH) to a degree that is distinct from the age-related decline in GH secretion and sufficient to cause perturbations of body composition, serum lipid profile and bone metabolism. In order to determine the best method for detecting GH deficiency in this age group we have compared spontaneous GH secretion, a provocative test of GH secretion, the arginine stimulation test (AST), and basal estimates of circulating insulin-like growth factors (IGF) and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP). DESIGN: Twenty-four patients (16 male) with organic hypothalamic-pituitary disease and 24 controls (17 male) were studied. The groups were matched for BMI but the patients were slightly younger than the controls, 66.0 (61.0-85.7) vs. 70.6 (60.8-87.5) years (P = 0.04). All subjects underwent a 24-h GH profile (20-minute sampling), measurement of serum IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP3, IGFBP2 and growth hormone binding protein (GHBP) and, after an overnight fast, an AST (intravenous arginine 20 g/m2 over 30 minutes). GH concentrations were measured using an ultrasensitive chemiluminescence assay (sensitivity 0.002 microgram/l). Normative data for serum IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP3 and IGFBP2 were obtained from 125 subjects aged 60-87 years. RESULTS: None of the parameters studied was able to distinguish between all the GH deficient patients and the healthy controls. The median (range) area under the GH profile (AUCGH) and peak GH response to arginine were lower in the patients than in the controls, 310.05 (18.90-2193.36) vs. 2518.20 (526.76-12024.97) min mU/l (P < 0.00001), 1.07 (0.08-17.90) vs. 23.06 (4.60-109.98) mU/l (P < 0.00001), respectively. There was a significant relationship between AUCGH and peak GH response to arginine in the patients (r = 0.89, P < 0.0001) and in the controls (r = 0.56, P = 0.005). Serum IGF-I, IGFBP2, and IGFBP3 levels were significantly lower in the patients compared with the normal range, 102 (14-162) vs. 142 (59-298) micrograms/l (P < 0.0001), 415 (122-1868) vs. 640 (140-2585) micrograms/l (P = 0.0007) and 2.29 (0.81-3.75) vs. 2.59 (1.00-3.52) mg/l (P = 0.009), respectively. The degree of overlap between the two groups, however, was too great to make these measurements useful diagnostically. Serum IGF-II and GHBP concentrations in the patients were not significantly different from the normal range. The patients were divided into groups determined by the number of anterior pituitary hormone deficits present. There was a significant downward trend in the peak GH response to arginine with increasing severity of hypopituitarism (J = -3.04, P = 0.0012). Ninety per cent of patients with two or three additional pituitary deficiencies had a peak GH response less than 2.0 mU/l. CONCLUSIONS: Of the indices studied the arginine stimulation test is more effective than GH markers, such as IGF-I or IGFBP3, or measurement of spontaneous GH secretion for diagnosing GH deficiency in adults over the age of 60 years. By relating the peak GH response to the degree of hypopituitarism, a GH response less than 2.0 mU/l is suggestive of severe GH deficiency in this age group under the appropriate clinical circumstances.
    • The dynamics of growth hormone (GH) secretion in adult cancer survivors with severe GH deficiency acquired after brain irradiation in childhood for nonpituitary brain tumors: evidence for preserved pulsatility and diurnal variation with increased secretory disorderliness.

      Darzy, Ken H; Pezzoli, Suzan S; Thorner, Michael O; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, United Kingdom. (2005-05)
      Dynamics of GH secretion in patients with GH deficiency due to radiation damage of the hypothalamic-pituitary (h-p) axis acquired in childhood has rarely been studied. Thus, we used a sensitive chemiluminescence GH assay to analyze 24-h GH profiles (20-min sampling) from 10 adult cancer survivors with severe GH deficiency acquired after brain irradiation in childhood for nonpituitary brain tumors. An age- and sex-matched control group of 30 normal healthy volunteers, eight of whom were matched for body mass index with the patients, were also studied. Cluster analysis with gender-specific comparisons revealed a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in all amplitude-related measurements [profile mean GH levels or area under curve for GH, absolute (maximum) GH peak height, mean peak height, and mean pulse area] in patients. No differences were observed in frequency-related measurements (pulse frequency, pulse duration, and interpulse interval). Pulsatile secretion was relatively more attenuated than basal secretion in patients, and approximate entropy (ApEn) scores were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated, suggesting more disordered GH secretion. Radiation inflicts quantitative damage to the h-p axis, leading to amplitude-dependent dampening of GH secretion with relative preservation of nonpulsatile secretion. Qualitative perturbation in hypothalamic control of GH release is evident by the increase in ApEn values reflecting more disordered GH secretion. The integrity of the h-p axis and GH neuroregulation is fundamentally preserved in irradiated GH-deficient patients with a GH secretory pattern similar to that observed in normal subjects and those with GH deficiency due to other etiologies.
    • Follow-up of pituitary tumor volume in patients with acromegaly treated with pegvisomant in clinical trials.

      Jimenez, Camilo; Burman, Pia; Abs, Roger; Clemmons, David R; Drake, William M; Hutson, Kent R; Messig, Michael; Thorner, Michael O; Trainer, Peter J; Gagel, Robert F; et al. (2008-11)
      OBJECTIVE: We examined pituitary tumor volumes in patients treated with pegvisomant for 18 months or longer, and in whom the tumors were monitored for at least 3 years. We present details on 9 of 304 patients in clinical trials with pegvisomant who experienced tumor growth within the first year of treatment. METHOD: Magnetic resonance images prior to start of pegvisomant and at last follow-up were examined in 43 patients (14% of participating patients). Twenty-nine had received prior radiation therapy (18% of irradiated patients) and all but five received somatostatin analogs between periods of pegvisomant treatment. RESULTS: At follow-up, the median tumor volume was 0.6 cc (range 0.0-19.7 cc), in comparison with 1.6 cc (0.0-19.7 cc) at baseline (P<0.001). Twenty-five patients, of which 23 received radiation therapy, had tumor volume reduction. Seventeen patients had no significant change. One patient, who had not received radiation therapy, had an increase in tumor volume from 1.61 to 1.93 cc. Of the nine patients with tumor growth, six had progressive growth before initiating pegvisomant. Two patients with stable tumors while on octreotide experienced enlargement after octreotide discontinuation but remained stable on long-term pegvisomant therapy. CONCLUSION: The present data indicate that pegvisomant does not promote tumor growth and suggest that the nine observed cases of tumor progression, which occurred within 8 months after commencing pegvisomant, are likely rebound expansions after discontinuation of somatostatin analogs and/or the natural history of aggressively growing pituitary tumors. Continued long-term surveillance of tumor volume, particularly in non-irradiated patients, is recommended.
    • The impact of short-term fasting on the dynamics of 24-hour growth hormone (GH) secretion in patients with severe radiation-induced GH deficiency.

      Darzy, Ken H; Murray, Robert D; Gleeson, Helena K; Pezzoli, Suzan S; Thorner, Michael O; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Christie Hospital, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, United Kingdom. stephen.m.shalet@man.ac.uk. (2006-03)
      CONTEXT: In patients with severe radiation-induced GH deficiency, we previously demonstrated that pulsatile GH secretion and diurnal rhythm are maintained in the fed state, albeit with great attenuation of the pulse amplitude. However, it remained unclear whether stressing the hypothalamic-pituitary axis could unmask neurosecretory dysregulation that is not seen under basal conditions. In addition, the impact of fasting on GH pulsatility and diurnal variation in GH-deficient patients has not been studied in detail before. STUDY SUBJECTS AND DESIGN: Twenty-four-hour GH profiles at 20-min intervals were undertaken in the fed state and in the last 24 h of a 33-h fast in eight young adult cancer survivors (two women) with severe GH deficiency after cranial irradiation for nonpituitary brain tumors in childhood and 14 matched normal controls (three women). A sensitive chemiluminescence GH assay was used with cluster analysis. RESULTS: Fasting induced a significant (P < 0.05) rise in all amplitude-dependent measures (absolute GH peak and nadir, profile mean GH, and mean pulse amplitude and area) in both groups. Pulse frequency was nonsignificantly increased (by 10%) in normals but significantly increased (by 20%) in the patients. The average increase in the individual fasting profile mean GH concentration was 3.7-fold (range 1.5-8.3) in normals, compared with 2.7-fold (range 1-4.7) in the patients (P > 0.05). Fasting amplified amplitude-related differences between patients and controls, and thus, unlike in the fed state, the day (0900-2040 h) mean GH completely demarcated patients from normals. An absolute GH peak level of 2 and 4 microg/liter and a profile mean GH level of 0.25 and 0.65 microg/liter completely separated patients from normals in the fed and the fasting states, respectively. Overall, fasting seems to induce a feminized pattern of GH secretion with relatively higher interpeak levels, preserved but diminished diurnal variation, and increased secretory disorderliness (increased approximate entropy scores). CONCLUSION: The overall pulsatile pattern of GH secretion during fasting in patients with radiation-induced GH deficiency and the relative augmentation in GH release are similar to that seen in normals emphasizing that GH neuroregulation is preserved in these patients even when the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is under physiological stress.
    • Long-term treatment of acromegaly with pegvisomant, a growth hormone receptor antagonist.

      Van der Lely, A J; Hutson, R K; Trainer, Peter J; Besser, G M; Barkan, Ariel L; Katznelson, L; Klibanski, Anne; Herman-Bonert, V; Melmed, Shlomo; Vance, Mary Lee; et al. (2001-11-24)
      BACKGROUND: Pegvisomant is a new growth hormone receptor antagonist that improves symptoms and normalises insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in a high proportion of patients with acromegaly treated for up to 12 weeks. We assessed the effects of pegvisomant in 160 patients with acromegaly treated for an average of 425 days. METHODS: Treatment efficacy was assessed by measuring changes in tumour volume by magnetic resonance imaging, and serum growth hormone and IGF-1 concentrations in 152 patients who received pegvisomant by daily subcutaneous injection for up to 18 months. The safety analysis included 160 patients some of whom received weekly injections and are excluded from the efficacy analysis. FINDINGS: Mean serum IGF-1 concentrations fell by at least 50%: 467 mg/L (SE 24), 526 mg/L (29), and 523 mg/L (40) in patients treated for 6, 12 and 18 months, respectively (p<0.001), whereas growth hormone increased by 12.5 mg/L (2.1), 12.5 mg/L (3.0), and 14.2 mg/L (5.7) (p<0.001). Of the patients treated for 12 months or more, 87 of 90 (97%) achieved a normal serum IGF-1 concentration. In patients withdrawn from pegvisomant (n=45), serum growth hormone concentrations were 8.0 mg/L (2.5) at baseline, rose to 15.2 mg/L (2.4) on drug, and fell back within 30 days of withdrawal to 8.3 mg/L (2.7). Antibodies to growth hormone were detected in 27 (16.9%) of patients, but no tachyphylaxis was seen. Serum insulin and glucose concentrations were significantly decreased (p<0.05). Two patients experienced progressive growth of their pituitary tumours, and two other patients had increased alanine and asparate aminotransferase concentrations requiring withdrawal from treatment. Mean pituitary tumour volume in 131 patients followed for a mean of 11.46 months (0.70) decreased by 0.033 cm(3) (0.057; p=0.353). INTERPRETATION: Pegvisomant is an effective medical treatment for acromegaly.
    • Optimizing control of acromegaly: integrating a growth hormone receptor antagonist into the treatment algorithm.

      Clemmons, David R; Chihara, Kazuo; Freda, Pamela U; Ho, Ken; Klibanski, Anne; Melmed, Shlomo; Shalet, Stephen M; Strasburger, Christian J; Trainer, Peter J; Thorner, Michael O; et al. (2003-10)
      Acromegaly is associated with significant morbidities and a 2- to 3-fold increase in mortality because of the excessive metabolic action of GH and IGF-I, a marker of GH output. Reductions in morbidity correspond with decreases in IGF-I, and mortality is lowered following normalization of IGF-I or GH levels. Therefore, this has become an important end point. Current guidelines for the treatment of acromegaly have not considered recent advances in medical therapy, in particular, the place of pegvisomant, a GH receptor antagonist. Treatment goals include normalizing biochemical markers, controlling tumor mass, preserving pituitary function, and relieving signs and symptoms. Surgery reduces tumor volume and is considered first-line therapy. Radiation reduces tumor volume and GH and IGF-I levels, but the onset of action is slow and hypopituitarism typically develops. Therefore, pharmacotherapy is often used following surgery or as first-line therapy for nonresectable tumors. Dopamine agonists can be considered in patients exhibiting minimal disease or those with GH-prolactin-cosecreting tumors but will not achieve hormone normalization in most patients. Somatostatin analogs effectively suppress GH and IGF-I in most patients, but intolerance (e.g. diarrhea, cramping, gallstones) can occur. Pegvisomant, the newest therapeutic option, blocks GH action at peripheral receptors, normalizes IGF-I levels, reduces signs and symptoms, and corrects metabolic defects. Pegvisomant does not appear to affect tumor size and has few adverse effects. Pegvisomant is the most effective drug treatment for acromegaly in normalizing IGF-I and producing a clinical response; it is the preferred agent in patients resistant to or intolerant of somatostatin analogs.
    • Pulsatile growth hormone secretion persists in genetic growth hormone-releasing hormone resistance.

      Maheshwari, Hiralal G; Pezzoli, Suzan S; Rahim, Asad; Shalet, Stephen M; Thorner, Michael O; Baumann, Gerhard; Center for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, and Veterans Administration Chicago Health System, Lakeside Division, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA. (2002-04)
      Growth hormone (GH) secretion is regulated by GH-releasing hormone (GHRH), somatostatin, and possibly ghrelin, but uncertainty remains about the relative contributions of these hypophysiotropic factors to GH pulsatility. Patients with genetic GHRH receptor (GHRH-R) deficiency present an opportunity to examine GH secretory dynamics in the selective absence of GHRH input. We studied circadian GH profiles in four young men homozygous for a null mutation in the GHRH-R gene by use of an ultrasensitive GH assay. Residual GH secretion was pulsatile, with normal pulse frequency, but severely reduced amplitude (<1% normal) and greater than normal process disorder (as assessed by approximate entropy). Nocturnal GH secretion, both basal and pulsatile, was enhanced compared with daytime. We conclude that rhythmic GH secretion persists in an amplitude-miniaturized version in the absence of a GHRH-R signal. The nocturnal enhancement of GH secretion is likely mediated by decreased somatostatin tone. Pulsatility of residual GH secretion may be caused by oscillations in somatostatin and/or ghrelin; it may also reflect intrinsic oscillations in somatotropes.
    • The relationship between 24-hour growth hormone secretion and insulin-like growth factor I in patients with successfully treated acromegaly: impact of surgery or radiotherapy.

      Peacey, Steven R; Toogood, Andy; Veldhuis, Johannes D; Thorner, Michael O; Shalet, Stephen M; Department of Endocrinology, Bradford Hospitals National Health Service Trust , Bradford, United Kingdom BD9 6RJ. (2001-01)
      In patients with treated acromegaly, improved survival is associated with serum GH concentrations below 2 microgram/L (5 mU/L). A principal aim of therapy in acromegaly is to achieve a GH level less than 2 microgram/L, as such levels are thought to be "safe." However, such GH levels do not always equate with normalization of plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), although epidemiological data linking survival or morbidity to IGF-I levels are at present lacking. The aims of this study were 1) to further define the nature of GH release in those acromegalic patients who achieve mean GH concentrations below 2 microgram/L post therapy, 2) to examine the effect of different therapeutic interventions on the 24-h GH profile (surgery alone or radiotherapy), and 3) to determine the relationship between the various characteristics of the 24-h GH profile and IGF-I production in acromegalic subjects who have achieved GH below 2 microgram/L. Spontaneous 24-h GH secretion was measured using both a conventional immunoradiometric assay (limit of detection, 0.4 microgram/L) and an ultrasensitive assay (limit of detection, 0.002 microgram/L). The GH data have been analyzed by several methods: 1) the pulse detection algorithm Cluster, 2) a distribution method for detection of peak [the observed concentration 95%, i.e. the threshold at or below which GH concentrations are assessed to be 95% of the time, as calculated by probability analysis (OC 95%)] and trough (OC, 5%) GH activity, 3) deconvolution analysis, and 4) approximate entropy analysis. GH was sampled every 20 min for 24 h, along with basal IGF-I and IGF-binding protein-3, in 21 treated acromegalic patients with a mean GH below 2 microgram/L [ACR; 9 women and 12 men; median age (range), 49 (31-76) yr] and 16 healthy controls [C; 6 women and 10 men; age, 50 (30-75) yr]. Mean 24-h serum GH concentrations were [median (range)]: ACR, 1.1 (0.04-1.5) microgram/L; C, 0.4 (0.02-3.3) microgram/L (P = 0.28). GH pulse frequency was: ACR, 11 (1-14)/24 h; C, 10 (8-18)/24 h (P = 0.41). In the GH profiles the mean heights of the GH peaks were: ACR, 1.2 (0.05-2.8) microgram/L; C, 0.8 (0.02-5.1) microgram/L (P = 0.91), and the mean GH valley nadirs were: ACR, 0.65 (0.03-1.1) microgram/L; C, 0.09 (0.01-1.8) microgram/L (P < 0.02). The OC 95% was: ACR, 1.0 (0.04-3.8) microgram/L; C, 1.0 (0.02-10) microgram/L (P = 0.65), and the OC 5% was: ACR, 0.09 (0.01-0.6) microgram/L; C, 0.01 (0.001-0.4) microgram/L (P < 0.001). The median IGF-I was: ACR, 227 (100-853) microgram/L; C, 156 (89-342) microgram/L (P < 0.005). Approximate entrophy values were: ACR, 1.06 (0.35-1.45); and C, 0.57 (0.27-1.19); P < 0.05. In the acromegaly group a significant positive correlation was found between IGF-I and the calculated GH secretory burst amplitude in the radiotherapy subset (r = 0.85; P < 0.0005) as well as between IGF-I and both the mean GH valley nadir (r = 0.60; P < 0.004) and the trough (OC 5%) GH activity for the acromegalic patients as a whole (r = 0.55; P < 0.02). We conclude that in treated acromegaly (GH, <2 microgram/L), 1) IGF-I (by approximately 50%) and basal GH secretion (by 5-fold) remain significantly elevated compared with control values despite similar mean 24-h GH concentrations; 2) the calculated GH secretory pulse amplitude, mean GH valley nadir, and OC 5% correlate positively with IGF-I; 3) the greater mean GH valley nadir and OC 5% in acromegalic patients compared with controls may account for the raised IGF-I; and 4) radiotherapy is unlikely to normalize the GH secretory pattern, which underlies the persisting elevated IGF-I levels.
    • State-of-the-art strategies for the diagnosis and management of acromegaly

      Klibanski, Anne; Ho, Ken; Freda, Pamela U; Clemmons, David R; Barkan, Ariel L; Kleinberg, David L; Trainer, Peter J; Swearingen, Brooke; Molitch, Mark E; Wass, John A; et al. (2001)
    • Treatment of acromegaly with the growth hormone-receptor antagonist pegvisomant.

      Trainer, Peter J; Drake, William M; Katznelson, L; Freda, P U; Herman-Bonert, V; Van der Lely, A J; Dimaraki, E V; Stewart, P M; Friend, K E; Vance, Mary Lee; et al. (2000-04-20)
      BACKGROUND: Patients with acromegaly are currently treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and drugs to reduce hypersecretion of growth hormone, but the treatments may be ineffective and have adverse effects. Pegvisomant is a genetically engineered growth hormone-receptor antagonist that blocks the action of growth hormone. METHODS: We conducted a 12-week, randomized, double-blind study of three daily doses of pegvisomant (10 mg, 15 mg, and 20 mg) and placebo, given subcutaneously, in 112 patients with acromegaly. RESULTS: The mean (+/-SD) serum concentration of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) decreased from base line by 4.0+/-16.8 percent in the placebo group, 26.7+/-27.9 percent in the group that received 10 mg of pegvisomant per day, 50.1+/-26.7 percent in the group that received 15 mg of pegvisomant per day, and 62.5+/-21.3 percent in the group that received 20 mg of pegvisomant per day (P<0.001 for the comparison of each pegvisomant group with placebo), and the concentrations became normal in 10 percent, 54 percent, 81 percent, and 89 percent of patients, respectively (P<0.001 for each comparison with placebo). Among patients treated with 15 mg or 20 mg of pegvisomant per day, there were significant decreases in ring size, soft-tissue swelling, the degree of excessive perspiration, and fatigue. The score fortotal symptoms and signs of acromegaly decreased significantly in all groups receiving pegvisomant (P< or =0.05). The incidence of adverse effects was similar in all groups. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of these preliminary results, treatment of patients who have acromegaly with a growth hormone-receptor antagonist results in a reduction in serum IGF-I concentrations and in clinical improvement.