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Gender differences and temporal trends over two decades in acromegaly: a single center study in 112 patients

  • Adriana G. IoachimescuEmail author
  • Talin Handa
  • Neevi Goswami
  • Adlai L. PappyII
  • Emir Veledar
  • Nelson M. Oyesiku
Original Article



To evaluate the impact of gender and year at surgery on clinical presentation and postoperative outcomes in acromegaly.


Retrospective review of patients operated between 1994 and 2016 to compare presentation and outcomes in groups defined by gender and year of surgery. Kaplan–Meier survival analyses with a composite endpoint (recurrence, reoperation, and radiation) were used for gender comparison and Youden indices for biochemical remission rates changes during study period.


Primary indications for evaluation were phenotype, neurological symptoms, incidentaloma, hypogonadism, and galactorrhea. At surgery, men (N = 54) were younger (43.6 ± 12.7 years) than women (N = 58, 48.7 ± 12.3, P = 0.04). Male:female ratios before and after age 50 were 1.4 and 0.6 respectively. Men had higher mean IGF-1 levels (874 ± 328 vs 716 ± 296, P < 0.01) and smaller tumors (1.8 ± 1.3 cm vs 2.3 ± 1.5, P = 0.04). Postoperative remission rates were comparable (51% men, 56% women) and inversely associated with cavernous sinus invasion and GH levels. Women had longer mean follow-up (5.2 ± 3.4 years vs 3.6 ± 3.6 men, P = 0.02) and longer endpoint-free survival (P < 0.01). At last follow-up, 89.6% women and 70% men had normal IGF-1 levels (P = 0.03). Postoperative remission rates were higher in patients operated after February 15, 2011 (67.35 vs 43.5% previously, P = 0.01). In late vs early surgery group, physical changes as main indication for screening decreased (54 vs 30%, P < 0.01), while incidentaloma and hypogonadism increased. Median GH levels were lower in late vs early surgery group (P = 0.03).


We demonstrate gender-specific characteristics and an evolving spectrum of clinical presentation with implications for earlier diagnosis and personalized management of acromegaly.


Acromegaly Gender Surgery Remission Incidentaloma Growth hormone 



The authors thank Emilee Wehunt, research coordinator for the regulatory work that pertains to the Emory Pituitary Database.


Department of Neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept of Medicine (Endocrinology)Emory School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Dept of NeurosurgeryEmory School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Emory College of Arts and SciencesAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Emory School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  6. 6.Baptist Health South FloridaMiami-DadeUSA

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