Cobalt 60 irradiation of pituitary gland tumors in three cats with acromegaly

Goossens MM, Feldman EC, Nelson RW, et al.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 1998;213:374-376.

Acromegaly was diagnosed in 3 cats with insulin-resistant diabetes mellitus (DM) on the basis of history and physical examination findings, which ruled out other causes of insulin-resistant DM, and by documenting high plasma concentrations of growth hormone. Computed tomography revealed a mass in the area of the pituitary gland in each cat. Pituitary gland tumors were irradiated with cobalt 60, and none of the cats developed complications to radiotherapy. Each cat received a total dose of 48 Gy of cobalt 60 during 12 treatments. After completion of radiotherapy, insulin requirements were less for all cats, although in 1 cat, this improvement was transient. Diabetes mellitus resolved in 2 of 3 cats. After treatment, decreases in insulin requirements correlated with decreases in plasma growth hormone concentrations in 2 of 3 cats in which DM resolved. On the basis of these findings, irradiation of pituitary gland tumors appears to be a treatment option for cats with acromegaly.