Objective: To assess the influence of long-acting somatostatin analogs (SSTA) after initial pituitary surgery on long-term health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in relation to disease control in patients with acromegaly.
Design: This is a cross-sectional study in two tertiary referral centers in The Netherlands.
Patients and methods: One hundred and eight patients with acromegaly, in whom transsphenoidal (n = 101, 94%) or transcranial (n = 7, 6%) surgery was performed. Subsequently, 46 (43%) received additional radiotherapy and 41 (38%) were on postoperative treatment with SSTA because of persistent or recurrent disease at the time of study. All subjects filled in standardized questionnaires measuring HR-QoL. Disease control at the time of study was assessed by local IGF1 SDS.
Results: IGF1 SDS were slightly higher in patients treated with SSTA in comparison with patients without use of SSTA (0.85 +/- 1.52 vs 0.25 +/- 1.21, P = 0.026), but the percentage of patients with insufficient control (IGF1 SDS >2) was not different (17 vs 9%, P = 0.208). Patients using SSTA reported poorer scores on most subscales of the RAND-36 and the acromegaly QoL and on all subscales of the multidimensional fatigue inventory-20. A subgroup analysis in patients with similar IGF1 levels (SSTA+, n = 26, IGF1 SDS 0.44 +/- 0.72 vs SSTA-, n = 44, IGF1 SDS 0.41 +/- 0.65) revealed worse scores on physical functioning, physical fatigue, reduced activity, vitality, and general health perception across all HR-QoL questionnaires in patients treated with SSTA.
Conclusion: QoL is impaired in association with the need for prolonged postoperative therapy by SSTA in patients with acromegaly despite similar IGF1 levels.