, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 194–202 | Cite as

Silent somatotroph pituitary adenomas: an update

  • Fabienne Langlois
  • Randall Woltjer
  • Justin S. Cetas
  • Maria Fleseriu


Silent growth hormone adenomas (SGHA) are a rare entity of non-functioning pituitary neuroendocrine tumors. Diagnosis is invariably made post-operatively of a tumor immunopositive for GH (and Pit-1 in selected cases) but without clinical acromegaly. Mainly young females are affected, and tumors are often uncovered by investigation for headaches or oligoamenorrhea. Integration of clinical, pathological and biochemical data is required for proper diagnosis. Beside normal IGF-1 levels, a third of SGHAs displays elevated GH levels and some will eventually progress to acromegaly. Almost two-thirds will be mixed GH-prolactin tumors and sparsely-granulated monohormonal GH tumors seems the more aggressive subtype. Recurrence and need for radiation is higher than other non-functioning tumors so close follow-up is warranted.


Silent somatotroph Pituitary Neuroendocrine tumors Non-functioning pituitary adenomas Somatotroph adenomas 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyCentre hospitalier universitaire de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Department of PathologyOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  3. 3.Department of Neurological SurgeryOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  5. 5.Northwest Pituitary CenterOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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