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Pepijn van Houten, Romana Netea-Maier, Margreet Wagenmakers, Sean Roerink, Ad Hermus, and Annenienke Van de Ven

Objective: Cushing’s syndrome (CS) is associated with osteoporosis and high fracture risk. Besides males sex it is unknown which variables influence bone mineral density (BMD) at diagnosis and it is unclear to what extent BMD normalizes during long-term follow-up after treatment of CS. The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with BMD at diagnosis of CS and to determine the long-term course of BMD and fracture rate after successful treatment of CS.

Design: Retrospective cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort study.

Methods: Data were collected from 231 patients with CS who were treated at the Radboud University Medical Centre between 1968 and 2020.

Results: At diagnosis, male sex was associated with lower Z-scores at the lumbar spine (LS) compared with female sex: -0.97SD [-1.45 - -0.49] after correction for possible confounders. Shorter duration of symptoms and younger age were also associated with lower Z-scores at diagnosis, while etiology of CS, urinary cortisol excretion and gonadal status were not associated with Z-scores at diagnosis. Z-scores improved up to 20 years after treatment. Fifteen years after treatment, men showed larger improvements of Z-scores than women; +2.56 [1.82-3.30] increase in LS Z-score versus +1.48 [0.96-2.00] respectively. Fracture incidence was highest during the 2 years before diagnosis and decreased after treatment.

Conclusion: Male sex, younger age and shorter duration of symptoms are associated with lower BMD at diagnosis of CS. BMD continues to improve up to 20 years after treatment of CS. Fracture rate decreases after treatment of CS.

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Mark R Postma, Romana T Netea-Maier, Gerrit van den Berg, Jens Homan, Wim J Sluiter, Margreet A Wagenmakers, Alfons C M van den Bergh, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Ad R M M Hermus, and André P van Beek


To assess the influence of long-acting somatostatin analogs (SSTA) after initial pituitary surgery on long-term health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in relation to disease control in patients with acromegaly.


This is a cross-sectional study in two tertiary referral centers in The Netherlands.

Patients and methods

One hundred and eight patients with acromegaly, in whom transsphenoidal (n=101, 94%) or transcranial (n=7, 6%) surgery was performed. Subsequently, 46 (43%) received additional radiotherapy and 41 (38%) were on postoperative treatment with SSTA because of persistent or recurrent disease at the time of study. All subjects filled in standardized questionnaires measuring HR-QoL. Disease control at the time of study was assessed by local IGF1 SDS.


IGF1 SDS were slightly higher in patients treated with SSTA in comparison with patients without use of SSTA (0.85±1.52 vs 0.25±1.21, P=0.026), but the percentage of patients with insufficient control (IGF1 SDS >2) was not different (17 vs 9%, P=0.208). Patients using SSTA reported poorer scores on most subscales of the RAND-36 and the acromegaly QoL and on all subscales of the multidimensional fatigue inventory-20. A subgroup analysis in patients with similar IGF1 levels (SSTA+, n=26, IGF1 SDS 0.44±0.72 vs SSTA−, n=44, IGF1 SDS 0.41±0.65) revealed worse scores on physical functioning, physical fatigue, reduced activity, vitality, and general health perception across all HR-QoL questionnaires in patients treated with SSTA.


QoL is impaired in association with the need for prolonged postoperative therapy by SSTA in patients with acromegaly despite similar IGF1 levels.

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Mark R Postma, Thalijn L C Wolters, Gerrit van den Berg, Antonius E van Herwaarden, Anneke C Muller Kobold, Wim J Sluiter, Margreet A Wagenmakers, Alfons C M van den Bergh, Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel, Ad R M M Hermus, Romana T Netea-Maier, and André P van Beek


To assess the effect of somatostatin analogs (SSAs) on mortality in relation to disease control of acromegaly after pituitary surgery.


A retrospective study in two large tertiary referral centers in The Netherlands.


Overall, 319 patients with acromegaly in whom pituitary surgery was performed as primary therapy between January 1980 and July 2017 were included. Postoperative treatment with SSA was prescribed to 174 (55%) patients because of persistent or recurrent disease. Disease control at last visit was assessed by IGF1 standard deviation score (SDS). Adequate disease control was defined as IGF1 SDS ≤2. Univariate determinants of mortality and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for groups with and without SSA at any moment postoperatively and at last visit.


In total, 27 deaths were observed. In univariate analysis, determinants of mortality were inadequate disease control (relative risk (RR): 3.41, P = 0.005), surgery by craniotomy (RR: 3.53, P = 0.013) and glucocorticoid substitution (RR: 2.11, P = 0.047). There was a strong trend toward increased mortality for patients who used SSA (RR: 2.01, P = 0.067) and/or dopamine agonists (RR: 2.54, P = 0.052) at last visit. The SMR of patients with adequate disease control who used SSA at any moment postoperatively (1.07, P = 0.785) and at last visit (1.19; P = 0.600) was not increased. Insufficiently controlled patients had a significantly raised SMR (3.92, P = 0.006).


Postoperative use of SSA is not associated with increased mortality in patients with acromegaly who attain adequate disease control. In contrast, inadequate disease control, primary surgery by craniotomy and glucocorticoid substitution are associated with increased mortality.