Course of pregnancies in women with Cushing’s disease treated by gamma-knife


Francesco Ferraù1, Marco Losa2, Oana Ruxandra Cotta1, Maria Luisa Torre1, Marta Ragonese1, Francesco Trimarchi1, Salvatore Cannavò1

1Department of Medicine and Pharmacology, Section of Endocrinology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy

2Department of Neurosurgery, Istituto Scientifico San Raffaele, Milan, Italy

Correspondence: Francesco Ferraù, MD, Department of Medicine and Pharmacology, Section of Endocrinology, University of Messina, AOU Policlinico “G. Martino” (Pad. H, floor 4), Via Consolare Valeria 1, 98125 Messina, Italy. Tel: +39 090 2213507. Fax: +39 090 2213945. E-mail:


Data concerning pregnancy in women with Cushing’s disease treated by gamma-knife (GK) are scanty. We present and discuss the course and outcome of five pregnancies in two women with Cushing’s disease (CD), the first of whom was treated only by GK, and the second one treated by surgery, GK and ketoconazole.

In the first patient, pregnancy was uneventful and full-term. During gestation, plasma ACTH, serum cortisol and 24-h urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels were steady, and always in the normal range for healthy non-pregnant individuals. The newborn was healthy and normal-weight.

In the second woman, two pregnancies, occurring 3 years after GK and few months after ketoconazole withdrawal, were interrupted by spontaneous abortion or placental disruption despite normal cortisol levels. This patient became again pregnant 3 years later and delivered vaginally a healthy full-term infant.

Seven months after the delivery, the patient became pregnant again and at the 39th week of gestation delivered vaginally a healthy male. Hypoprolactinemia and/or central hypothyroidism occurred in both cases. In women with CD treated by GK, pregnancy can occur. However, pregnancy is at risk even when ACTH and cortisol levels are normalized by treatment. After GK, evaluation of pituitary function is mandatory due to the risk of hypopituitarism.

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One Response

  1. Looks like there's some real promise with this treatment method. Next step is to apply it to a larger sample size and document the results.

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