Growth hormone-producing pituitary adenomas in childhood and young adulthood: clinical features and outcomes.

PMID 28849339


Growth hormone (GH)-producing pituitary adenomas (PAs) in childhood or young adulthood are rare, and the details surrounding these tumors remain enigmatic. We present the clinical, pathological and genetic features of this disease. We identified 25 patients aged 20 years or younger with GH-producing PAs who underwent surgery between 2003 and 2016 at Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo. We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data, treatment outcomes and pathological features of these patients to shed light on childhood acromegaly. The cohort comprised 14 male and 11 female patients whose average age at the time of surgery was 17.3 years. Germline AIP mutations were present in 5 of 13 patients examined, and Carney complex was identified in 2 of 25 patients. The mean maximum tumor diameter was 26.7 mm, and total resection assessed during surgery was achieved in 17 patients. Based on their respective pathological findings, patients were divided into the following 4 groups: sparsely granulated adenomas (5), densely granulated (DG) adenomas (6), plurihormonal adenomas (9), and silent subtype 3 (SS3) adenomas (5). During the mean follow-up period of 50.3 months, complete endocrinological remission was achieved in 14 of 25 patients (56%) by surgery alone and in 19 patients (76%) after postoperative adjuvant therapy. GH-producing PAs in young patients are intriguing and difficult to treat due to their distinct tumor characteristics, including a lower incidence of the DG subtype and a higher incidence of SS3 adenomas and genetic abnormalities. Therefore, multi-modal therapies are essential to achieve optimal clinical outcomes.