Background: Craniopharyngiomas are benign tumors of the parasellar and sellar region. Patients with craniopharyngioma, treated with surgery, have comorbidities such as obesity and multiple pituitary deficiencies.
Aim: To evaluate the metabolic parameters of patients with craniopharyngioma treated with surgery.
Methods: We recruited 20 patients with craniopharyngioma (M=11, 46.6±12.6) and 20 patients (M=10, 53.5±8.8) with non functioning adenomas (NFA) followed-up at the Department of Endocrinology of the University Federico II of Naples as controls. The majority of patients have multiple pituitary deficiencies. In all patients the following parameters were assessed: blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin, total-, HDL-, and LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides and BMI. We also calculated the visceral adiposity index (VAI) that is a sex-specific mathematical index, indirectly expressing visceral adipose function and insulin sensitivity.
Results: Patients with craniopharyngioma showed lower levels of HDL (1.14±0.24 vs 1.40±0.28 mmol/l, P<0.04) and higher blood glucose (93.1±9.72 vs 85.7±9.72 mg/dl, P<0.021) compared with patients with NFA. There was no significant difference between two groups in BMI (32.65±5.92 vs 29.47±5.03), total- cholesterol (191.9±43.09 vs 209.1±33.05 mg/dl), LDL-cholesterol (111±42.88 vs 122.5±28.19 mg/dl), triglycerides (1.8±1.49 vs 1.66±0.48 mmol/l), insulin (7.43±5.97 vs 9.9±5.79 ng/ml) and HbA1c (5.55±0.5 vs 5.55±0.8%). No significant difference was found in the VAI index between two groups (2.55±2.32 vs 2.12±0.93; P=0.441). However, VAI index was higher in craniopharyngioma (2.55±2.32 vs 1.92) and in NFA patients (2.12±0.93 vs 1.93) according with a standard population age-matched.
Finally, there are no significant differences in presence of metabolic syndrome in two groups of patients (35 vs 15%, P=0.27).
Conclusions: Our study shows no significant differences in metabolic parameters between patients with craniopharyngioma and patients with NFA. However, a difference was in VAI between two groups of patients and the general population. Thus, VAI can be considered an accurate index of visceral adiposity in these patients.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.
05 - 09 May 2012
European Society of Endocrinology