Effect of different dopaminergic agents in the treatment of acromegaly

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1997 Feb;82(2):518-23. doi: 10.1210/jcem.82.2.3648.


Medical treatment of acromegaly with dopamine agonists possesses 2 main advantages: the oral administration and the low costs. In this study, we reported on the results of chronic treatments with quinagolide (CV 205-502), cabergoline (CAB) and long-acting depot preparation of bromocriptine (BRC-LAR) in 34 acromegalics. Patients were divided into three groups on the basis of different treatment: CV 205-502 given to 16 patients at the dose of 0.3-0.6 mg/day for 6 months; CAB given to 11 patients at the dose of 1.0-2.0 mg weekly for 6 months; and BRC-LAR injected into 7 patients at the dose of 100 mg/month for 6-12 months. Basal and oral glucose tolerance test-stimulated serum GH levels, basal and TRH-stimulated PRL levels, plasma insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels, computed tomography scan, and/or magnetic resonance imaging were assessed before and quarterly during treatments. The chronic administration of CV 205-502, CAB, and BRC-LAR caused a significant decrease of circulating GH, IGF-I, and PRL levels (P < 0.005). Normalization of circulating GH and IGF-I levels was obtained in 7 of 16 (43.8%) patients treated with CV 205-502. Serum GH response to oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT) significantly improved (P < 0.005), and PRL levels were significantly suppressed during treatments. No correlation was found between basal and TRH-stimulated PRL levels and GH suppression during different therapies. Immunohistochemical staining revealed 19 GH-positive and 10 GH + PRL-positive adenomas. A significant association was found between GH/PRL staining and responsiveness to chronic treatments (chi 2 = 7.985, P < 0.005). Three patients had significant adenoma shrinkage. Slight nausea and hypotension which spontaneously disappeared within therapy progression, were referred by 5/16 patients during CV 205-502 and 2/7 during BRC-LAR. The results of this study indicate that CAB and BRC-LAR cannot be considered as useful medical approaches for acromegalics, whereas CV 205-502 normalized circulating GH and IGF-I levels in 47.8% of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acromegaly / blood
  • Acromegaly / drug therapy*
  • Acromegaly / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aminoquinolines / adverse effects
  • Aminoquinolines / therapeutic use*
  • Bromocriptine / adverse effects
  • Bromocriptine / therapeutic use*
  • Cabergoline
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Ergolines / adverse effects
  • Ergolines / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Human Growth Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prolactin / blood


  • Aminoquinolines
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Ergolines
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Bromocriptine
  • quinagolide
  • Prolactin
  • Cabergoline