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The coexistence of newly diagnosed acromegaly with primary empty sella: More frequent than expected?

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the coexistence of newly diagnosed acromegaly with primary empty sella (ES), which is considered to be a rare association, and the impact of ES on the laboratory, radiological and prognostic status of acromegaly.

DESIGN: Acromegaly patients diagnosed and followed-up between 2012 and 2021 were included. Empty sella was defined as the pituitary gland and adenoma filling <50% of the sella turcica on preoperative T1 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

RESULTS: 102 acromegalic patients (45 male, 57 female, 45.5 ± 12.8 (range: 20-70 years) were included and data of a median 3 years (range: 0.5-9 years) were presented. ES was detected in 19 (18.6%) patients and 4 had complete and 15 had partial ES. Although not significant, adenoma size and residual adenoma on MRI on postoperative 3rd month, and disease remission at last control were lower in acromegaly with ES than in acromegaly without ES, while the rate of female gender and remission on postoperative 3rd month were higher. While preoperative serum prolactin and nadir GH responses to OGTT were significantly lower in patients with ES, there was no difference in terms of other pituitary hormones among both groups.

CONCLUSION: The present study revealed the coexistence of newly diagnosed acromegaly with primary ES at a rate of nearly 20% which is more frequent than expected and this association is not rare. The presence of ES was not associated with any preoperative/postoperative pituitary hormone levels and remission status, except lower preoperative prolactin and nadir GH responses to OGTT.

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