Prognostic value of nadir GH levels for long-term biochemical remission or recurrence in surgically treated acromegaly

Pamela U. Freda, Jeffrey N. Bruce, Carlos Reyes-Vidal, Simran Singh, Yessica DeLeon, Zhezhen Jin, Alexander G. Khandji, Serge Cremers, Kalmon D. Post

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Context: Outcome of acromegaly surgery is assessed by IGF-1 and glucose-suppressed GH, but whether the latter provides additional clinically relevant information when IGF-1 is normal is unclear. The role of GH suppression testing after surgery requires clarification. Methods: We studied 97 acromegaly patients with normal IGF-1 after surgery by measuring GH after oral glucose longitudinally, initially at ≥ 3 months after surgery and repeated one or more times ≥ 1 year later. Nadir GH was categorized as normal or abnormal relative to the 97.5th percentile of nadir GH in 100 healthy subjects, which were ≤ 0.14 µg/L (DSL IRMA) or ≤ 0.15 µg/L(IDS iSYS). Signs and symptoms scores and insulin resistance were followed longitudinally. Results: Of 68 patients with initial normal GH suppression 63 (93%) remained in remission and of 29 with initial abnormal GH suppression, 9 (31%) recurred. Recurrence was more common in patients with abnormal suppression (P < 0.001). A total of 14 patients recurred, including 5 with normal GH suppression progressing to abnormal and then recurrence. Overall, serial signs and symptoms and insulin resistance assessments did not identify patients with abnormal suppression or recurrence. Conclusion: Risk of recurrence after surgery is increased for patients with a normal IGF-1 level, but abnormal GH suppression. We newly find, using both our and others’ cut-offs, that while normal suppression predicts long-term remission in most patients, some can progress from normal to abnormal suppression and then recurrence after many years of follow up. Nadir GH levels are of prognostic value in acromegaly patients with normal IGF-1 levels after surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-183
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Acromegaly
  • GH
  • IGF-1


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