Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 29 P1389

Evaluation of metabolic parameters in patients with craniopharyngiomas using visceral adiposity index

M. Savanelli, V. Brunelli, E. Scarano, R. Esposito, M. Rubino, P. Contaldi, S. Savastano, A. Colao & C. Di Somma


University Federico II, Napoli, Italy.


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.

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