Cardiovascular risk profile in growth hormone-treated adults with craniopharyngioma compared to non-functioning pituitary adenoma: a national cohort study

Tim Verweij*, TNA Slagboom, NC van Varsseveld, A.J. van der Lely, ML Drent, CC van Bunderen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Context: Cardiovascular (CV) risk profile might differ between growth hormone-treated patients with craniopharyngioma and non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA), since patients with craniopharyngioma more frequently suffer from hypothalamic metabolic disruption.

Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the CV risk profile in adult patients with craniopharyngioma compared to NFPA before and after treatment with growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy due to severe GH deficiency.

Design: A sub-analysis of the Dutch National Registry of Growth Hormone Treatment in Adults was performed, in which we compared 291 patients with craniopharyngioma to 778 patients with NFPA. CV risk profile and morbidity were evaluated at baseline and during long-term follow-up within and between both groups.

Results: At baseline, patients with craniopharyngioma demonstrated higher BMI than patients with NFPA, and men with craniopharyngioma showed greater waist circumference and lower HDL compared to men with NFPA. During follow-up, BMI, as well as diastolic blood pressure among patients using antihypertensive drugs, deteriorated in the craniopharyngioma group compared to the NFPA group. Lipid profile improved similarly in both groups over time. No differences were found between groups in the occurrence of diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular accidents, CV disease, or overall mortality.

Conclusion: This study suggests that overall CV risk profile is worse in craniopharyngioma patients with GH deficiency compared to patients with NFPA. During GH replacement therapy, patients with craniopharyngioma demonstrated an increase in BMI over time, where BMI remained stable in patients with NFPA. Also, diastolic blood pressure did not improve with antihypertensive drugs in craniopharyngioma patients as seen in patients with NFPA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-801
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2021

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