The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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January - March 2006, Volume 2, Issue 1
General Endocrinology

Badiu C, Dumbrava M, Stancu C, Ciubotaru V, Coculescu M

Immunoreactivity for glycoproteic hormones and tumor size in pituitary adenomas

Acta Endo (Buc) 2006, 2 (1): 1-9
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2006.1

At least one fifth of pituitary adenomas exhibit plurihormonality when using immunohistochemistry for anterior pituitary hormones. However, the correlation with clinical features is weak, without an agreement upon pathological predictors of tumor behavior. The aim was to determine the immunoreactivity for anterior pituitary hormones and alpha subunit in 276 consecutive pituitary adenomas patients, aged 22-79 years (44.3 ? 8), 154 F/ 122 M: 83 acromegalics (ACM), 173 nonfunctioning adenomas (NFA) and 20 prolactinomas (PRM) submitted to surgery via transfrontal (81) or transsphenoidal (195) along 10 years (1995-2005). In addition, clinical data, hormonal secretion and tumour size were evaluated before pituitary surgery. Local ethical committee approved the study design. The immunoreactivity performed by the avidin-biotin-complex method was evaluated for beta FSH, LH, TSH, alpha subunit, PRL and GH, using a semiquantitative scale of stained cells: strong (>20%), positive (10-20%), weak (5-10%) and negative (<5%). CT or MRI tumor size (less than 1 cm, 1-2 cm, 2-4 cm and over 4 cm on maximal diameter) were considered together with the Hardy neuroradiological stage. The results showed that 16/83 ACM, 53/173 NFA and 4/20 PRM exhibited immunoreactivity for beta FSH and LH. TSH immunoreactivity was positive in 13/83 ACM, 11/173 NFA and 1/20 PRM. Tumor size in gonadotrophin - positive group (> 10% of stained cells) was between 1-2 cm in 6 ACM, 21 NFA and 2 PRM, while positive bigger tumors (2-4 cm) were in 7 ACM, 24 NFA and 2 PRM. Giant, over 4 cm tumors were positive in 3 ACM, 8 NFA and no PRM. A similar trend of the tumor size distribution was observed in the monohormonal or null cell adenomas. In conclusion, tumor size and gonadotrophin plurihormonality are independent factors in the management of pituitary adenomas.

Keywords: pituitary adenomas, gonadotrophs, immunohistochemistry, neurosurgery

Correspondence: Corin Badiu ?C. I. Parhon? Institute of Endocrinology, Bd. Aviatorilor 34-36, Bucharest, Romania, fax: +4021.3198718, e-mail: