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      Patient-Centered Outcomes with Pituitary and Parasellar Disease

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          Over the last 2 decades, advances in the diagnosis and management of pituitary diseases have made it possible to attain an endocrine “cure” in a large proportion of patients. In other words, tumors can be excised or controlled with drugs, mass effects of the lesion on surrounding structures can be solved, and pituitary deficiencies can be substituted with all relevant hormones. While this is considered a satisfactory outcome for health care providers, patients often suffer from an aftermath of prior endocrine dysfunction exposure, with irreversible effects, both physically and psychologically, which have a great impact on their everyday life. Diagnostic delay, often of several years, adds a negative impact on health perception. This affects their social, professional, and family domains and determines their future life. Understanding that this may occur is important, and health care providers should offer information to prepare the patient for this difficult journey, especially in the case of acromegaly, Cushing disease, or hypopituitarism. In order to maintain a good quality of life (QoL) in the long-term, patients need to adapt to this new situation, something that may be difficult, since they often cannot continue with all the activities and rhythm they used to do. Depression is often the consequence of maladaptation to the new situation, leading to impaired QoL.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Quality of life in patients after long-term biochemical cure of Cushing's disease.

          To evaluate the long-term impact of cured Cushing's disease on subjective well-being, we assessed quality of life by validated health-related questionnaires in 58 patients cured from Cushing's disease by transsphenoidal surgery (n = 58), some of whom received additional radiotherapy (n = 11) and/or bilateral adrenalectomy (n = 3). The mean duration of remission was 13.4 +/- 6.7 yr (range of 2-25 yr). Patient data were compared with a control group of 98 healthy subjects with the same age and sex distribution and with age-adjusted reference values available from the literature. General perceived well-being, measured by the Nottingham Health Profile and the Short Form, was reduced compared with controls for all subscales (P < 0.001). Patients with Cushing's disease had worse scores on subscales of fatigue Multidimensional Fatigue Index and anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Compared with reference values from the literature, quality of life was also reduced in the patients according to all questionnaires and all items, except pain (Short Form), sleep (Nottingham Health Profile), and reduced activity (Multidimensional Fatigue Index). Despite conventional hormone replacement therapy, hypopituitarism was an important independent predictor of reduced quality of life. Patients without hypopituitarism (n = 28) showed reduced scores on physical items but normal scores on mental items compared with controls. In conclusion, despite long-term cure of Cushing's disease, patients experience a considerable decrease in quality of life, with physical and psychosocial impairments, especially in the presence of hypopituitarism.
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            Quality of life in acromegalic patients during long-term somatostatin analog treatment with and without pegvisomant.

            The objective of the study was to assess whether weekly administration of 40 mg pegvisomant (PEG-V) improves quality of life (QoL) and metabolic parameters in acromegalic patients with normal age-adjusted IGF-I concentrations during long-acting somatostatin analog (SSA) treatment. This was a prospective, investigator-initiated, double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Twenty acromegalic subjects received either PEG-V or placebo for two consecutive treatment periods of 16 wk, separated by a washout period of 4 wk. Efficacy was assessed as change between baseline and end of each treatment period. QoL was assessed by the Acromegaly Quality of Life Questionnaire (AcroQoL) and the Patient-Assessed Acromegaly Symptom Questionnaire (PASQ). The AcroQoL (P = 0.008) and AcroQoL physical (P = 0.002) improved significantly after PEG-V was added. The addition of PEG-V also significantly improved the PASQ (P = 0.038) and the single PASQ questions, perspiration (P = 0.024), soft tissue swelling (P = 0.036), and overall health status (P = 0.035). No significant change in Z-score of IGF-I (P = 0.34) was observed during addition of PEG-V. Transient liver enzyme elevations were observed in five subjects (25%). Improvement in quality of life was observed without significant change in IGF-I after the addition of 40 mg pegvisomant weekly to monthly SSA therapy in acromegalic patients who had normalized IGF-I on SSA monotherapy. These data question the current recommendations in how to assess disease activity in acromegaly. Moreover, the findings question the validity of the current approach of medical treatment in which pegvisomant is used only when SSA therapy has failed to normalize IGF-I.
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              Disease-specific impairments in quality of life during long-term follow-up of patients with different pituitary adenomas.

              Quality of life (QoL) is impaired in patients treated for pituitary adenomas. However, differences in age and gender distributions hamper a proper comparison of QoL. Therefore, we compared age- and gender-specific standard deviations (SD) scores (Z-scores) of QoL parameters in patients treated for pituitary adenomas. We determined Z-scores for health-related questionnaires [the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI)-20, Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), and Short Form Health Survey (SF-36)] in patients during long-term follow-up (13 +/- 8 years) after treatment for pituitary adenomas. Z-scores were calculated by comparing the data for 403 patients with acromegaly (n = 118), Cushing's disease (CD; n = 58), prolactinoma (n = 128), and nonfunctioning macroadenoma (n = 99) with a control population (n = 440) for each subscale of the questionnaires and for total QoL score. All subscales of the questionnaires and the total QoL score were negatively affected in patients compared to controls. Comparing the Z-scores, patients treated for acromegaly reported more impairment in physical ability and functioning and more bodily pain compared to patients treated for nonfunctioning macroadenoma and those treated for prolactinoma. Patients with CD reported impairment in physical functioning compared to patients treated for nonfunctioning macroadenoma. Linear regression analysis, with correction for age and gender, confirmed these findings. Additionally, CD was associated with increased anxiety. Hypopituitarism negatively influenced multiple aspects of QoL. QoL is impaired in patients during long-term follow-up after treatment of pituitary adenomas. Patients with pituitary adenomas should be informed of these persistent adverse effects of their disease on QoL to prevent inappropriate expectations with respect to the long-term results of treatment.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                August 2020
                27 February 2020
                : 110
                : 9-10
                : 882-888
                aDepartment of Medicine/Endocrinology, IIB-Sant Pau, Hospital Sant Pau, Research Center for Pituitary Diseases, Barcelona, Spain
                bCentro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER, Unidad 747), ISCIII, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain
                cDepartment of Fundamental and Medico-Surgical Nursing, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
                Author notes
                *Susan M. Webb, Department of Medicine/Endocrinology, IIB-Sant Pau, Hospital Sant Pau, Research Center for Pituitary Diseases, Pare Claret 167, ES–08022 Barcelona (Spain), swebb@santpau.cat
                506809 Neuroendocrinology 2020;110:882–888
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Pages: 7
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