Decreased quality of life (QoL) in hypopituitary patients: involvement of glucocorticoid replacement and radiation therapy.
Authors of this article are:
Ajmal A, McKean E, Sullivan S, Barkan A.
A summary of the article is shown below:
PURPOSE: Hypopituitary patients are assumed to have decreased QoL due to GHD. However, in placebo controlled trials, the effects of GH replacement are no different from placebo. Hydrocortisone dose > 20 mg/day and pituitary radiation are independently associated with poorer QoL. We assessed QoL in panhypopituitary GH- deficient patients never treated with GH.METHODS: Study group was divided into: (a) surgery followed by radiation (n = 21) and (b) surgery alone (n = 32). Mean duration of GHD was 71.4 ± 7.8 months and mean daily hydrocortisone dose was 15 ± 0.7 mg. Control group had transnasal surgery for benign sinus conditions (n = 54).RESULTS: AGHDA scores were significantly worse in the entire study group compared to controls (8.1 ± 1.0 vs. 5.1 ± 0.9, p = 0.03). In patients with history of radiation therapy AGHDA scores were significantly worse than in controls (9.1 ± 1.5, p = 0.02) and SNOT-22 (Sino-Nasal Outcome Test) scores were also significantly worse (15.8 ± 2.0 vs. 23.2 ± 3.5, p = 0.04). However, AGHDA scores in patients without history of radiation and on “physiological” dose of hydrocortisone were similar to those in controls (5.1 ± 0.9 vs. 7.3 ± 1.3, p = 0.17).CONCLUSIONS: Replacement with hydrocortisone doses not exceeding 20 mg/day and avoidance of radiation therapy was accompanied by normal QoL in patients not replaced with GH. Thus, we suggest that the decreased QoL in hypopituitary patients may not be due to GH deficiency per se, but rather to high hydrocortisone doses and to aftereffects of cranial radiation.
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