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Laura Chinezu, Alexandre Vasiljevic, Jacqueline Trouillas, Marion Lapoirie, Emmanuel Jouanneau, and Gérald Raverot


Silent somatotroph tumours are growth hormone (GH) immunoreactive (IR) pituitary tumours without clinical and biological signs of acromegaly. Their better characterisation is required to improve the diagnosis.

Materials and methods

Twenty-one silent somatotroph tumours were compared to 59 somatotroph tumours with acromegaly. Tumours in each group were classified into GH and plurihormonal (GH/prolactin (PRL)/±thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)) and into densely granulated (DG) and sparsely granulated (SG) types. The two groups were then compared with regards to proliferation (Ki-67, p53 indexes and mitotic count), differentiation (expression of somatostatin receptors SSTR2A–SSTR5 and transcription factor Pit-1) and secretory activity (% of GH- and PRL-IR cells).


The silent somatotroph tumours represented 2% of all tested pituitary tumours combined. They were more frequent in women than in men (P = 0.002), more frequently plurihormonal and SG (P < 0.01), with a lower percentage of GH-IR cells (P < 0.0001) compared to those with acromegaly. They all expressed SSTR2A, SSTR5 and Pit-1. The plurihormonal (GH/PRL/±TSH) tumours were mostly observed in women (sex ratio: 3/1) and in patients who were generally younger than those with acromegaly (P < 0.001). They were larger (P < 0.001) with a higher Ki-67 index (P = 0.007).


The silent somatotroph tumours are not uncommon. Their pathological diagnosis requires the immunodetection of GH and Pit-1. They are more frequently plurihormonal and more proliferative than those with acromegaly. A low secretory activity of these tumours might explain the normal plasma values for GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and the absence of clinical signs of acromegaly.

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Anne Bachelot, Marion Lapoirie, Jerome Dulon, Monique Leban, Raphaele Renard Penna, and Philippe Touraine

We conducted a retrospective study on the long-term effect of mitotane treatment on testicular adrenal rest tumors (TARTs) in 5 adult patients with classic 21-hydroxylase deficiency,. After 60 months of mitotane treatment, a decrease of adrenal steroids was observed in 4 patients. Testicular ultrasonography showed complete disappearance of TART in 2 patients, stabilization in 2 patients and a halving of TART volume in the remaining patient. Sperm count improved notably in 2 patients who had normal baseline inhibin B levels and small inclusions, thus enabling cryopreservation of the subjects’ semen. Four years of follow-up of these two patients after the withdrawal of mitotane showed no recurrence of TART and persistent normal testicular function. In conclusion, mitotane should be used as a last resort in CAH patients in the cases of azoospermia associated with TARTs but normal inhibin B levels, as it can improve long-term endocrine and exocrine testicular function.