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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 113-116

Volume increase in craniopharyngiomas under growth hormone and/or sex hormones substitution: Role of tumors receptors or mere coincidence?

Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Bab El Oued Hospital, Algiers, Algeria

Correspondence Address:
F Chentli
Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Bab El Oued Hospital, 5 Boulevard Said Touati, Algiers
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1745.117839

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Craniopharyngiomas are rare embryonic tumors with low grade of malignancy that arise in supra-or intra-sellar areas with severe ophthalmological, neurological, and endocrine damages. Among pituitary deficits, somatotroph and gonadotroph deficiencies are the most challenging because of potential increased risk of tumor growth and recurrence. While data exist to suggest that growth hormone (GH) treatment is safe, very little is known about sex hormones replacement on tumor growth. Our aim was to report 3 craniopharyngiomas with tumor increase under GH and/or estrogen (E2) therapy. The three patients, aged 21, 22, and 23, were studied for severe short stature related to calcified (n = 1) or apparently stable (for more than 2 years) craniopharyngiomas with somatotroph and gonadotroph deficiencies. After 4 months to 1 year GH (n = 2) and/or E2 replacement (n = 3), there was an increase in craniopharyngiomas' size with signs of intracranial hypertension in two cases. In our three craniopharyngiomas that were either totally calcified or stable before substitution, the tumor increase seemed to be the result of GH and/or E2 substitution. But, as spontaneous evolution of these tumors is unpredictable, we could not exclude a mere coincidence.


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