Pituitary MRI Features in Acromegaly Resulting From Ectopic GHRH Secretion From a Neuroendocrine Tumor: Analysis of 30 Cases

Iulia Potorac*, Jean François Bonneville, Adrian F. Daly, Wouter de Herder, Patricia Fainstein-Day, Philippe Chanson, Marta Korbonits, Fernando Cordido, Elisa Baranski Lamback, Mohamed Abid, Véronique Raverot, Gerald Raverot, Emma Anda Apiñániz, Philippe Caron, Helene Du Boullay, Martin Bildingmaier, Marek Bolanowski, Marie Laloi-Michelin, Francoise Borson-Chazot, Olivier ChabreSophie Christin-Maitre, Claire Briet, Gonzalo Diaz-Soto, Fabrice Bonneville, Frederic Castinetti, Mônica R. Gadelha, Nathalie Oliveira Santana, Maria Stelmachowska-Banaś, Tomas Gudbjartsson, Roció Villar-Taibo, Taiba Zornitzki, Luaba Tshibanda, Patrick Petrossians, Albert Beckers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Ectopic acromegaly is a consequence of rare neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) that secrete GHRH. This abnormal GHRH secretion drives GH and IGF-1 excess, with a clinical presentation similar to classical pituitary acromegaly. Identifying the underlying cause for the GH hypersecretion in the setting of ectopic GHRH excess is, however, essential for proper management both of acromegaly and the NET. Owing to the rarity of NETs, the imaging characteristics of the pituitary in ectopic acromegaly have not been analyzed in depth in a large series. Objective: Characterize pituitary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features at baseline and after NET treatment in patients with ectopic acromegaly. Design: Multicenter, international, retrospective. Setting: Tertiary referral pituitary centers. Patients: Thirty ectopic acromegaly patients having GHRH hypersecretion. Intervention: None. Main outcome measure: MRI characteristics of pituitary gland, particularly T2-weighted signal. Results: In 30 patients with ectopic GHRH-induced acromegaly, we found that most patients had hyperplastic pituitaries. Hyperplasia was usually moderate but was occasionally subtle, with only small volume increases compared with normal ranges for age and sex. T2-weighted signal was hypointense in most patients, especially in those with hyperplastic pituitaries. After treatment of the NET, pituitary size diminished and T2-weighted signal tended to normalize. Conclusions: This comprehensive study of pituitary MRI characteristics in ectopic acromegaly underlines the utility of performing T2-weighted sequences in the MRI evaluation of patients with acromegaly as an additional tool that can help to establish the correct diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e3313-e3320
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number8
Early online date4 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

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