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Daniel S Olsson, Ing-Liss Bryngelsson and Oskar Ragnarsson

Objective

Increased mortality rates are found in women and young adults with non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs). This nationwide study aimed to investigate the burden of comorbidities in patients with NFPA and to examine whether gender influences the outcome.

Design

NFPA patients were identified and followed-up from National Registries in Sweden. It was a nationwide, population-based study.

Method

Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) for comorbidities with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Comorbidities were analysed in all patients, both patients with and without hypopituitarism.

Results

Included in the analysis were 2795 patients (1502 men, 1293 women), diagnosed with NFPA between 1987 and 2011. Hypopituitarism was reported in 1500 patients (54%). Mean patient-years at risk per patient was 7 (range 0–25). Both men (SIR 2.2, 95% CI: 1.8–2.5; P<0.001) and women (2.9, 2.4–3.6; P<0.001) had a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) than the general population, with women having a higher incidence compared with men (P=0.02). The incidence of myocardial infarction was increased in women (1.7, 1.3–2.1; P<0.001), but not in men. Both men (1.3, 1.1–1.6; P=0.006) and women (2.3; 1.9–2.8; P<0.001) had an increased incidence of cerebral infarction, with women having a higher incidence than men (P<0.001). The incidence of sepsis was increased for both genders. The incidence of fractures was increased in women (1.8, 1.5–1.8; P<0.001), but not for men.

Conclusions

This nationwide study shows excessive morbidity due to T2DM, cerebral infarction and sepsis in all NFPA patients. Women had higher incidence of T2DM, myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction and fracture in comparison to both the general population and to men.

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Daniela Esposito, Oskar Ragnarsson, Daniel Granfeldt, Tom Marlow, Gudmundur Johannsson and Daniel S Olsson

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Daniela Esposito, Oskar Ragnarsson, Daniel Granfeldt, Tom Marlow, Gudmundur Johannsson and Daniel S Olsson

Context

New therapeutic strategies have developed for the management of acromegaly over recent decades. Whether this has improved mortality has not been fully elucidated.

Objective

The primary aim was to investigate mortality in a nationwide unselected cohort of patients with acromegaly. Secondary analyses included time trends in mortality and treatment patterns.

Design

A total of 1089 patients with acromegaly were identified in Swedish National Health Registries between 1987 and 2013. To analyse time trends, the cohort was divided into three periods (1987–1995, 1996–2004 and 2005–2013) based on the year of diagnosis.

Main outcome measures

Using the Swedish population as reference, standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

Overall SMR was 2.79 (95% CI: 2.43–3.15) with 232 observed and 83 expected deaths. Mortality was mainly related to circulatory diseases (SMR: 2.95, 95% CI: 2.35–3.55), including ischemic heart disease (2.00, 1.35–2.66) and cerebrovascular disease (3.99, 2.42–5.55) and malignancy (1.76, 1.27–2.26). Mortality decreased over time, with an SMR of 3.45 (2.87–4.02) and 1.86 (1.04–2.67) during the first and last time period, respectively (P = .015). During the same time periods, the frequency of pituitary surgery increased from 58% to 72% (P < 0.001) and the prevalence of hypopituitarism decreased from 41% to 23% (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Excess mortality was found in this nationwide cohort of patients with acromegaly, mainly related to circulatory and malignant diseases. Although still high, mortality significantly declined over time. This could be explained by the more frequent use of pituitary surgery, decreased prevalence of hypopituitarism and the availability of new medical treatment options.

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Laila Füchtbauer, Daniel S Olsson, Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Lise-Lott Norrman, Katharina S Sunnerhagen and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective

Patients with acromegaly have decreased body fat (BF) and increased extracellular water (ECW) and muscle mass. Although there is a lack of systematic studies on muscle function, it is believed that patients with acromegaly may suffer from proximal muscle weakness despite their increased muscle mass. We studied body composition and muscle function in untreated acromegaly and after biochemical remission.

Design

Prospective observational study.

Methods

Patients with acromegaly underwent measurements of muscle strength (dynamometers) and body composition (four-compartment model) at diagnosis (n = 48), 1 year after surgery (n = 29) and after long-term follow-up (median 11 years) (n = 24). Results were compared to healthy subjects.

Results

Untreated patients had increased body cell mass (113 ± 9% of predicted) and ECW (110 ± 20%) and decreased BF (67 ± 7.6%). At one-year follow-up, serum concentration of IGF-I was reduced and body composition had normalized. At baseline, isometric muscle strength in knee flexors and extensors was normal and concentric strength was modestly increased whereas grip strength and endurance was reduced. After one year, muscle strength was normal in both patients with still active disease and patients in remission. At long-term follow-up, all patients were in remission. Most muscle function tests remained normal, but isometric flexion and the fatigue index were increased to 153 ± 42% and 139 ± 28% of predicted values, respectively.

Conclusions

Patients with untreated acromegaly had increased body cell mass and normal or modestly increased proximal muscle strength, whereas their grip strength was reduced. After biochemical improvement and remission, body composition was normalized, hand grip strength was increased, whereas proximal muscle fatigue increased.

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Casper Hammarstrand, Oskar Ragnarsson, Olivia Bengtsson, Ing-Liss Bryngelsson, Gudmundur Johannsson and Daniel S Olsson

Background

Patients with hypopituitarism have an increased mortality. The aim of this study was to investigate comorbidities including cerebral infarction, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and malignant tumors in patients with non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) with and without growth hormone replacement therapy (GHRT).

Methods

Observational cohort study in patients with NFPA within the western region of Sweden. Subjects were identified through the National Patient Registry and followed between 1987 and 2014. Patient records were reviewed and standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) with 95% CIs for comorbidities were calculated.

Results

In total, 426 patients were included, 206 with GHRT and 219 without. Median (range) follow-up time for patients with and without GHRT was 12.2 (0–24) and 8.2 (0–27) years, respectively. Mean ± s.d. BMI was 28.5 ± 4.5 and 26.5 ± 4.4 for patients with and without GHRT, respectively (P < 0.001). Incidence of cerebral infarction was increased (SIR: 1.39; 95% CI: 1.03–1.84; P = 0.032), with no difference between patients with and without GHRT. SIR for T2DM in patients not receiving GHRT was increased (1.65; 1.06–2.46; P = 0.018), whereas the incidence in patients receiving GHRT was not (0.99; 0.55–1.63; P = 0.99). The incidence of malignant tumors was not increased, either in patients with or without GHRT.

Conclusion

The incidence of cerebral infarction is increased in patients with NFPA irrespective of GHRT. Patients without GHRT had an increased risk of T2DM, whereas patients with GHRT had a normal incidence of T2DM, despite having higher BMI. Incidence of malignant tumors was not increased. Thus, long-term GHRT seems to be safe regarding risk of comorbidities.

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Eva Lesén, Daniel Granfeldt, Aude Houchard, Jérôme Dinet, Anthony Berthon, Daniel S Olsson, Ingela Björholt and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective

Acromegaly is a complex endocrine disease with multiple comorbidities. Treatment to obtain biochemical remission includes surgery, medical therapy and radiation. We aimed to describe comorbidities, treatment patterns and cost-of-illness in patients with acromegaly in Sweden.

Design

A nationwide population-based study.

Methods

Patients with acromegaly were identified and followed in national registers in Sweden. Longitudinal treatment patterns were assessed in patients diagnosed between July 2005 and December 2013. The cost-of-illness during 2013 was estimated from a societal perspective among patients diagnosed between 1987 and 2013.

Results

Among 358 patients with acromegaly (48% men, mean age at diagnosis 50.0 (s.d. 15.3) years) at least one comorbidity was reported in 81% (n = 290). The most common comorbidities were hypertension (40%, n = 142), neoplasms outside the pituitary (30%, n = 109), hypopituitarism (22%, n = 80) and diabetes mellitus (17%, n = 61). Acromegaly treatment was initiated on average 3.7 (s.d. 6.9) months after diagnosis. Among the 301 treated patients, the most common first-line treatments were surgery (60%, n = 180), somatostatin analogues (21%, n = 64) and dopamine agonists (14%, n = 41). After primary surgery, 24% (n = 44) received somatostatin analogues. The annual per-patient cost was €12 000; this was €8700 and €16 000 if diagnosed before or after July 2005, respectively. The cost-of-illness for acromegaly and its comorbidities was 77% from direct costs and 23% from production loss.

Conclusions

The prevalence of comorbidity is high in patients with acromegaly. The most common first-line treatment in acromegalic patients was surgery followed by somatostatin analogues. The annual per-patient cost of acromegaly and its comorbidities was €12 000.

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Casper Hammarstrand, Oskar Ragnarsson, Tobias Hallén, Eva Andersson, Thomas Skoglund, Anna G Nilsson, Gudmundur Johannsson and Daniel S Olsson

Objective

Patients with secondary adrenal insufficiency (AI) have an excess mortality. The objective was to investigate the impact of the daily glucocorticoid replacement dose on mortality in patients with hypopituitarism due to non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA).

Methods

Patients with NFPA were followed between years 1997 and 2014 and cross-referenced with the National Swedish Death Register. Standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was calculated with the general population as reference and Cox-regression was used to analyse the mortality.

Results

The analysis included 392 patients (140 women) with NFPA. Mean ± s.d. age at diagnosis was 58.7 ± 14.6 years and mean follow-up was 12.7 ± 7.2 years. AI was present in 193 patients, receiving a mean daily hydrocortisone equivalent (HCeq) dose of 20 ± 6 mg. SMR (95% confidence interval (CI)) for patients with AI was similar to that for patients without, 0.88 (0.68–1.12) and 0.87 (0.63–1.18) respectively. SMR was higher for patients with a daily HCeq dose of >20 mg (1.42 (0.88–2.17)) than that in patients with a daily HCeq dose of 20 mg (0.71 (0.49–0.99)), P = 0.017. In a Cox-regression analysis, a daily HCeq dose of >20 mg was independently associated with a higher mortality (HR: 1.88 (1.06–3.33)). Patients with daily HCeq doses of ≤20 mg had a mortality risk comparable to patients without glucocorticoid replacement and to the general population.

Conclusion

Patients with NFPA and AI receiving more than 20 mg HCeq per day have an increased mortality. Our data also show that mortality in patients substituted with 20 mg HCeq per day or less is not increased.

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Daniel S Olsson, Penelope Trimpou, Tobias Hallén, Ing-Liss Bryngelsson, Eva Andersson, Thomas Skoglund, Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Gudmundur Johannsson and Anna G Nilsson

Objective

Hypopituitarism has been associated with increased mortality. The excess mortality may be due to untreated growth hormone (GH) deficiency but also due to various underlying disorders. We therefore analysed mortality in patients with only one underlying disorder, non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA), with and without GH replacement therapy (GHRT).

Design and method

Patients with NFPA in the western region of Sweden, 1997–2011, were identified through the National Patient Registry and cross-referenced with several National Health Registries. All patient records were reviewed. Standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the general population as reference. Cox-regression models were performed to identify predictors of mortality.

Results

A total of 426 NFPA patients with 4599 patient-years were included, of whom 207 had used GHRT and 219 had not received GHRT. Median (range) follow-up in patients with and without GHRT was 12.2 (0–25) and 8.2 (0–27) years, respectively. Other pituitary hormone deficiencies were more frequent in the GHRT group than those in the non-GHRT group. SMR was 0.65 (95% CI, 0.44–0.94; P = 0.018) for the GHRT group and 1.16 (0.94–1.42; P = 0.17) for the non-GHRT group. Direct comparison between the groups showed reduced mortality among those who were GH replaced (P = 0.0063). The SMR for malignant tumours was reduced in the GHRT-group (0.29; 0.08–0.73; P = 0.004) but not in untreated patients.

Conclusions

Selection bias explaining some of the results cannot be excluded. However, NFPA patients with GHRT had reduced overall mortality compared with the general population, and death due to malignancy was not increased. This suggests that long-term GHRT is safe in adult patients selected for treatment.

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Laila Füchtbauer, Daniel S Olsson, Eva C Coopmans, Bengt-Åke Bengtsson, Lise-Lott Norrman, Sebastian J C M M Neggers, Ann Hellström and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective

Excess of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), as in acromegaly, is associated with increased risk of diabetes, but whether retinal vessels are altered is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate retinal vessel morphology in patients with acromegaly at diagnosis and after treatment and to describe the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in patients with long-standing acromegaly and diabetes.

Design

Two independent observational studies, one being prospective and the other retrospective and cross-sectional.

Methods

Retinal vessel morphology of 26 patients with acromegaly was examined at diagnosis and 1 year after treatment and compared to 13 healthy controls. Cross-sectional evaluation of 39 patients with long-standing acromegaly and diabetes was performed. Fundus photographs were digitally analyzed for vessel morphology.

Results

Patients with acromegaly had a median (interquartile range) of 34.3 (30.0–39.0) vessel branching points compared to 27.0 (24.0–29.0) for healthy controls (P < 0.001). Tortuosity of arterioles and venules remained unchanged. Vessel morphology did not change significantly after treatment. Patients with acromegaly and diabetes for a median of 14 years also had a high number of branching points (34.2 (32.5–35.6)), but the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was not higher than expected in diabetic patients without acromegaly.

Conclusions

Patients with acromegaly have an increased number of vascular branching points in the retina without an alteration of macroscopic vessel morphology. This is consistent with an angiogenic effect of GH/IGF-1 in humans. The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was not increased in patients with acromegaly and diabetes.

Free access

Mark Wijnen, Daniel S Olsson, Marry M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Casper Hammarstrand, Joseph A M J L Janssen, Aart J van der Lely, Gudmundur Johannsson and Sebastian J C M M Neggers

Objective

Most studies in patients with craniopharyngioma did not investigate morbidity and mortality relative to the general population nor evaluated risk factors for excess morbidity and mortality. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine excess morbidity and mortality, as well as their determinants in patients with craniopharyngioma.

Design

Hospital-based retrospective cohort study conducted between 1987 and 2014.

Methods

We included 144 Dutch and 80 Swedish patients with craniopharyngioma identified by a computer-based search in the medical records (105 females (47%), 112 patients with childhood-onset craniopharyngioma (50%), 3153 person-years of follow-up). Excess morbidity and mortality were analysed using standardized incidence and mortality ratios (SIRs and SMRs). Risk factors were evaluated univariably by comparing SIRs and SMRs between non-overlapping subgroups.

Results

Patients with craniopharyngioma experienced excess morbidity due to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (SIR: 4.4, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.8–6.8) and cerebral infarction (SIR: 4.9, 95% CI: 3.1–8.0) compared to the general population. Risks for malignant neoplasms, myocardial infarctions and fractures were not increased. Patients with craniopharyngioma also had excessive total mortality (SMR: 2.7, 95% CI: 2.0–3.8), and mortality due to circulatory (SMR: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.1–4.5) and respiratory (SMR: 6.0, 95% CI: 2.5–14.5) diseases. Female sex, childhood-onset craniopharyngioma, hydrocephalus and tumour recurrence were identified as risk factors for excess T2DM, cerebral infarction and total mortality.

Conclusions

Patients with craniopharyngioma are at an increased risk for T2DM, cerebral infarction, total mortality and mortality due to circulatory and respiratory diseases. Female sex, childhood-onset craniopharyngioma, hydrocephalus and tumour recurrence are important risk factors.