Background: Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a recognised complication of pituitary surgery, with diagnosis requiring clinical observation aided by plasma and urine electrolytes and osmolalities. Copeptin is a stable surrogate marker of AVP release and has potential to facilitate prompt diagnosis of post-operative DI. This assay has been shown to accurately predict which patients are likely to develop DI following pituitary surgery.
Objective: To determine whether copeptin analysis can be used to predict which patients are at risk of developing DI following transsphenoidal adenomectomy (TSA).
Methods: 78 patients undergoing TSA had samples taken for copeptin pre-operatively and at day 1 post-TSA. The majority of patients also had samples from day 2, day 8, and week 6 post-TSA. Results from patients who developed post-operative DI (based on clinical assessment, urine and plasma biochemistry and the need for treatment with DDAVP) were compared to those who did not. Patients with any evidence of pre-operative DI were excluded.
Results: Of 78 patients assessed, eleven were clinically determined to have developed DI. Differences were observed between patients with DI and those without in post-operative samples. Of note, there was a significant difference in plasma copeptin at day 1 post-operation (p=0.010 on Kruskal-Wallis test), with copeptin levels greater than 3.4 pmol/L helping to rule out DI (91% sensitivity, 55% specificity at this cut off).
Conclusion: In the post-TSA setting, copeptin is a useful rule-out test in patients with values above a defined threshold, which may facilitate earlier decision making and shorter hospital stays.