OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to evaluate the effect of prolonged treatment with the dopamine agonist quinagolide on serum gonadotropin and alpha-subunit concentrations and tumor volume in patients with clinically non-functioning pituitary adenomas (CNPA). DESIGN: Ten patients with CNPA were treated with quinagolide (0.3 mg daily). The median duration of treatment was 57 months (range 36-93 months). Blood samples for measurement of serum gonadotropin and alpha-subunit concentrations were drawn before treatment, after 5 days, and at each outpatient visit. Computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the pituitary region and Goldmann perimetry were done before and at regular intervals during treatment. RESULTS: A significant decrease of serum FSH, LH or alpha-subunit concentrations was found in nine patients. The levels remained low during the entire treatment period. In two out of three patients with pre-existing visual field defects a slight improvement was shown during the first months of treatment, but eventually deterioration occurred in all three patients. A fourth patient developed unilateral ophthalmoplegia during treatment. During the first year tumor volume decreased in three patients, but in two of them regrowth occurred after a few months. In six patients progressive tumor growth occurred despite sustained suppression of gonadotropin or alpha-subunit levels. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term treatment of patients with CNPA with high doses of the dopamine agonist quinagolide could not prevent progressive increase in tumor size in most patients. It remains unproven whether quinagolide retards CNPA growth. Additional studies are needed to investigate whether subgroups of patients, e.g. those with positive dopamine receptor scintigraphy or those with marked hypersecretion of intact gonadotropins or subunits, will respond more favorably to treatment with dopamine agonists.

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European Journal of Endocrinology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nobels, F.R.E, de Herder, W.W, van den Brink, W.M, Kwekkeboom, D.J, Hofland, L.J, Zuyderwijk, J, … Lamberts, S.W.J. (2000). Long-term treatment with the dopamine agonist quinagolide of patients with clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma. European Journal of Endocrinology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/9535