Serum growth hormone levels and size of pituitary tumour in untreated acromegaly

Br Med J. 1969 Dec 6;4(5683):582-4. doi: 10.1136/bmj.4.5683.582.


Serum levels of growth hormone were measured in 84 untreated acromegalic patients. The range of mean level during a glucose tolerance test was 8 to 1,860 ng./ml. and was lognormally distributed. Mean level was reproducible and correlated moderately well with maximum sellar area on lateral tomography. The hormone level was more responsive to oral glucose and insulin-induced hypoglycaemia in patients with smaller tumours. Attention is drawn to limitations of plain radiographs in assessing the size of a pituitary tumour. Suprasellar tumour extensions may be present in patients without visual field defects.

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / blood*
  • Acromegaly / complications
  • Acromegaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / blood*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumoencephalography
  • Tomography
  • Vision Disorders / complications
  • Visual Fields


  • Insulin
  • Growth Hormone