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Cross-sectional prevalence of pancreatic cystic lesions in patients with acromegaly, a single-center experience



Acromegaly is a disease associated with an increased risk for several kinds of neoplasms including colon and thyroid cancer. Although the association between acromegaly and pancreatic neoplasms has not been elucidated, it has recently been reported that GNAS gene mutations were found in 58% of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), which are representative pancreatic cystic lesions, suggesting a link between IPMNs and acromegaly. To assess the prevalence of pancreatic cystic lesions in patients with acromegaly, we performed a retrospective cross-sectional single institute study.


Thirty consecutive acromegalic patients (20 females and 10 males; mean age, 60.9 ± 11.9 years) who underwent abdominal contrast-enhanced computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging between 2007 and 2015 at Kobe University Hospital were recruited. We also analyzed the relationship between presence of pancreatic cystic lesions and somatic GNAS mutations in pituitary tumors.


Seventeen of 30 (56.7%) patients studied had pancreatic cystic lesions. Nine of 17 patients (52.9%) were diagnosed with IPMNs based on imaging findings. These results suggest that the prevalence of IPMNs may be higher in acromegalic patients in acromegalic patients than historically observed in control patients (up to 13.5%). In patients with pancreatic cystic lesions, the mean patient age was higher and the duration of disease was longer than in those without pancreatic cystic lesions (67.0 ± 2.3 vs. 53.0 ± 2.7 years, p < 0.001, 15.5 ± 2.4 vs. 7.3 ± 2.8 years, p = 0.04). There were no differences in serum growth hormone levels or insulin-like growth factor standard deviation scores between these two groups (21.3 ± 6.4 vs. 23.0 ± 7.4 ng/ml, p = 0.86, 6.6 ± 0.5 vs. 8.0 ± 0.6, p = 0.70). Neither the presence of somatic GNAS mutation in a pituitary tumor nor low signal intensity of the tumor in T2 weighted magnetic resonance imaging was associated with the presence of pancreatic cystic lesions.


These data demonstrate that old or long-suffering patients with acromegaly have a higher prevalence of pancreatic cystic lesions. Moreover, the prevalence of pancreatic cystic lesions may be increased in acromegalic patients.

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We are grateful to Ms. M. Kitamura and Ms. C. Ogata for providing excellent assistance. This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japanese Ministry of Education Science, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (15K09432, 24790945, 23659477, and 23591354), Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (research on hypothalamic-hypophyseal disorders) from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, Novo Nordisk, the Daiichi-Sankyo Foundation of Life Science, the Foundation of Growth Science, and the Naito Foundation.

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Correspondence to Hidenori Fukuoka.

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Odake, Y., Fukuoka, H., Yamamoto, M. et al. Cross-sectional prevalence of pancreatic cystic lesions in patients with acromegaly, a single-center experience. Pituitary 20, 509–514 (2017).

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  • Acromegaly
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • IPMN