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    Silent somatotroph tumours are growth hormone (GH) immunoreactive (IR) pituitary tumours without clinical and biological signs of acromegaly. Their better characterisation is required to improve the diagnosis. Twenty-one silent somatotroph tumours were compared to 59 somatotroph tumours with acromegaly. Tumours in each group were classified into GH and plurihormonal (GH/prolactin (PRL)/±thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)) and into densely granulated (DG) and sparsely granulated (SG) types. The two groups were then compared with regards to proliferation (Ki-67, p53 indexes and mitotic count), differentiation (expression of somatostatin receptors SSTR2A-SSTR5 and transcription factor Pit-1) and secretory activity (% of GH- and PRL-IR cells). The silent somatotroph tumours represented 2% of all tested pituitary tumours combined. They were more frequent in women than in men (P = 0.002), more frequently plurihormonal and SG (P < 0.01), with a lower percentage of GH-IR cells (P < 0.0001) compared to those with acromegaly. They all expressed SSTR2A, SSTR5 and Pit-1. The plurihormonal (GH/PRL/±TSH) tumours were mostly observed in women (sex ratio: 3/1) and in patients who were generally younger than those with acromegaly (P < 0.001). They were larger (P < 0.001) with a higher Ki-67 index (P = 0.007). The silent somatotroph tumours are not uncommon. Their pathological diagnosis requires the immunodetection of GH and Pit-1. They are more frequently plurihormonal and more proliferative than those with acromegaly. A low secretory activity of these tumours might explain the normal plasma values for GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and the absence of clinical signs of acromegaly. © 2017 European Society of Endocrinology.


    Laura Chinezu, Alexandre Vasiljevic, Jacqueline Trouillas, Marion Lapoirie, Emmanuel Jouanneau, Gérald Raverot. Silent somatotroph tumour revisited from a study of 80 patients with and without acromegaly and a review of the literature. European journal of endocrinology. 2017 Feb;176(2):195-201

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    PMID: 27913611

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