Novel features of tumors that secrete both growth hormone and prolactin in acromegaly

Paul Nyquist, Edward R. Laws, Emma Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


THE MOST PROMINENT previously reported clinical features of growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL)-secreting pituitary adenomas associated with acromegaly have included the high incidence of galactorrhea in women and a generally more favorable response to dopamine agonist therapy. The authors analyzed a consecutive series of 62 acromegalic patients treated with transsphenoidal microsurgery. GH-PRL tumors were found in 30% of the patients. There was a significant difference in sex distribution between acromegalics with the GH-PRL tumor subtype and all other acromegalics. Women represented 73% of the GH-PRL immunostain subtype, as compared with the overall sex distribution of 33 women (53%) and 29 men (47%) for the entire series of acromegalic patients. Individuals with the GH-PRL subtype had significantly higher postoperative GH levels than those with the GH subtype, and significantly higher postoperative GH levels when compared with all other acromegalics with a variety of immunostain subtypes. Linear regression analysis of the pre- and postoperative GH data revealed that the increased postoperative GH levels in the GH-PRL immunostain subtype were independent of the invasiveness of the tumor and of sex of the subject. When the same linear regression technique was used, lower preoperative levels of thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone were observed in the GH-PRL subtype. These data suggest inherent differences characteristic of tumors that secrete both growth hormone and prolactin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Acromegaly
  • Growth hormone
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Prolactin
  • Transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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