Efficacy and safety of bariatric surgery for craniopharyngioma-related hypothalamic obesity: a matched case-control study with 2 years of follow-up

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hypothalamic obesity is a devastating consequence of craniopharyngioma. Bariatric surgery could be a promising therapeutic option. However, its efficacy and safety in patients with craniopharyngioma-related hypothalamic obesity remain largely unknown.

OBJECTIVES:

We investigated the efficacy of bariatric surgery for inducing weight loss in patients with craniopharyngioma-related hypothalamic obesity. In addition, we studied the safety of bariatric surgery regarding its effects on hormone replacement therapy for pituitary insufficiency.

METHODS:

In this retrospective matched case-control study, we compared weight loss after bariatric surgery (that is, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy) between eight patients with craniopharyngioma-related hypothalamic obesity and 75 controls with ‘common' obesity during 2 years of follow-up. We validated our results at 1 year of follow-up in a meta-analysis. In addition, we studied alterations in hormone replacement therapy after bariatric surgery in patients with craniopharyngioma.

RESULTS:

Mean weight loss after bariatric surgery was 19% vs 25% (difference -6%, 95% confidence of interval (CI) -14.1 to 4.6; P = 0.091) at 2 years of follow-up in patients with craniopharyngioma-related hypothalamic obesity compared with control subjects with ‘common' obesity. Mean weight loss was 25% vs 29% (difference -4%, 95% CI -11.6 to 8.1; P = 0.419) after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and 10% vs 20% (difference -10%, 95% CI -14.1 to -6.2; P = 0.003) after sleeve gastrectomy at 2 years of follow-up in patients with craniopharyngioma-related hypothalamic obesity vs control subjects with ‘common' obesity. Our meta-analysis demonstrated significant weight loss 1 year after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, but not after sleeve gastrectomy. Seven patients with craniopharyngioma suffered from pituitary insufficiency; three of them required minor adjustments in hormone replacement therapy after bariatric surgery.

CONCLUSIONS:

Weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, but not sleeve gastrectomy, was comparable between patients with craniopharyngioma-related hypothalamic obesity and control subjects with ‘common' obesity at 2 years of follow-up. Bariatric surgery seems safe regarding its effects on hormone replacement therapy.

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