Does IGF-1 play a role in the etiopathogenesis of non-functioning adrenocortical adenoma?

  • C. T. Bahadir
  • G. C. Ecemis
  • H. Atmaca
Original Article



The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) with the pathogenesis of non-functioning adrenocortical adenomas (NFAs).


This study included 50 female patients (mean age 54 years) with NFAs, 55 patients (mean age 48 years; 20 male, 35 female) with acromegaly and 38 female control subjects (mean age 58 years). Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) of the subjects were recorded and blood samples for IGF-1 were taken. Insulin resistance was calculated using the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) score. Since most of the acromegaly patients had been using medicine that could have effected insulin resistance, HOMA scores were calculated only in patients with NFAs and the controls. Computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging was taken of the acromegalics and controls to detect adrenal mass frequency.


The mean age was similar among the groups. As expected, the serum IGF-1 levels were significantly higher in patients with acromegaly than in patients with NFAs and the controls (p < 0.001). Although BMI, WC, and serum IGF-1 levels were significantly higher (p < 0.001) in patients with NFAs, the HOMA scores were similar between patients with NFAs and control groups. Although none of the control subjects had adrenal masses, NFAs were detected in 14 (25%) out of 55 acromegalic patients.


Higher serum IGF-1 levels in patients with NFAs compared to the control group and an increased prevalence of NFAs in acromegaly patients compared to control subjects and the general population suggest an association of IGF-1 with the etiopathogenesis of NFA.


Adrenal incidentaloma Non-functioning adrenocortical adenoma IGF-1 Insulin resistance 



We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ramis Colak and Prof. Dr. Ayşegul Atmaca for contributing their patients to this study, and we are also grateful to Prof. Dr. Murat Danaci and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Selim Nural for the radiologic evaluation of the subjects included in this study.


The present study was supported by Ondokuz Mayis University Scientific Research Funding (Project Code No: 1904.12.022).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The investigation was conducted according to the principles expressed in the Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

The participants signed informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Faculty of MedicineOndokuz Mayis UniversitySamsunTurkey
  2. 2.Endocrinology and MetabolismLiv Hospitalİlkadım/SamsunTurkey

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