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Arman Jahangiri, Jeffrey Wagner, Mai T. Tran, Liane M. Miller, Maxwell W. Tom, Sandeep Kunwar, Lewis Blevins Jr. and Manish K. Aghi


Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion–induced hyponatremia is a common morbidity after pituitary surgery that can be profoundly symptomatic and cause costly readmissions. The authors calculated the frequency of postoperative hyponatremia after 1045 consecutive operations and determined the efficacy of interventions correcting hyponatremia.


The authors performed a retrospective review of 1045 consecutive pituitary surgeries in the first 946 patients treated since forming a dedicated pituitary center 5 years ago. Patients underwent preoperative and daily inpatient sodium checks, with outpatient checks as needed.


Thirty-two patients presented with hyponatremia; 41% of these patients were symptomatic. Postoperative hyponatremia occurred after 165 operations (16%) a mean of 4 days after surgery (range 0–28 days); 19% of operations leading to postoperative hyponatremia were associated with postoperative symptoms (38% involved dizziness and 29% involved nausea/vomiting) and 15% involved readmission for a mean of 5 days (range 1–20 days). In a multivariate analysis including lesion size, age, sex, number of prior pituitary surgeries, surgical approach, pathology, lesion location, and preoperative hypopituitarism, only preoperative hypopituitarism predicted postoperative hyponatremia (p = 0.006). Of patients with preoperative hyponatremia, 59% underwent medical correction preoperatively and 56% had persistent postoperative hyponatremia. The mean correction rates were 0.4 mEq/L/hr (no treatment; n = 112), 0.5 mEq/L/hr (free water restriction; n = 24), 0.7 mEq/L/hr (salt tablets; n = 14), 0.3 mEq/L/hr (3% saline; n = 20), 0.7 mEq/L/hr (intravenous vasopressin receptor antagonist Vaprisol; n = 22), and 1.2 mEq/L/hr (oral vasopressin receptor antagonist tolvaptan; n = 9) (p = 0.002, ANOVA). While some patients received more than 1 treatment, correction rates were only recorded when a treatment was given alone.


After 1045 pituitary operations, postoperative hyponatremia was associated exclusively with preoperative hypopituitarism and was most efficiently managed with oral tolvaptan, with several interventions insignificantly different from no treatment. Promptly identifying hyponatremia in high-risk patients and management with agents like tolvaptan can improve safety and decrease readmission. For readmitted patients with severely symptomatic hyponatremia, the intravenous vasopressin receptor antagonist Vaprisol is another treatment option.

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Arman Jahangiri, Jeffrey R. Wagner, Sung Won Han, Mai T. Tran, Liane M. Miller, Rebecca Chen, Maxwell W. Tom, Lauren R. Ostling, Sandeep Kunwar, Lewis Blevins and Manish K. Aghi


The impact of transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctional pituitary adenomas (NFAs) on preoperative hypopituitarism relative to the incidence of new postoperative endocrine deficits remains unclear. The authors investigated rates of hypopituitarism resolution and development after transsphenoidal surgery.


Over a 5-year period, 305 transsphenoidal surgeries for NFAs performed at The California Center for Pituitary Disorders were retrospectively reviewed.


Patients with preoperative endocrine deficits (n = 153, 50%) were significantly older (mean age 60 vs 54 years; p = 0.004), more frequently male (65% vs 44%; p = 0.0005), and had larger adenomas (2.4 cm vs 2.1 cm; p = 0.02) than patients without preoperative deficits (n = 152, 50%). Of patients with preoperative endocrine deficits, 53% exhibited symptoms. Preoperative deficit rates were 26% for the thyroid axis; 20% and 16% for the male and female reproductive axes, respectively; 13% for the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)/cortisol axis, and 19% for the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis. Laboratory normalization rates 6 weeks and 6 months after surgery without hormone replacement were 26% and 36% for male and 13% and 13% for female reproductive axes, respectively; 30% and 49% for the thyroid axis; 3% and 3% for the cortisol axis; and 9% and 22% for the IGF-1 axis (p < 0.05). New postoperative endocrine deficits occurred in 42 patients (13.7%). Rates of new deficits by axes were: male reproductive 3% (n = 9), female reproductive 1% (n = 4), thyroid axis 3% (n = 10), cortisol axis 6% (n = 19), and GH/IGF-1 axis 4% (n = 12). Patients who failed to exhibit any endocrine normalization had lower preoperative gland volumes than those who did not (0.24 cm3 vs 0.43 cm3, respectively; p < 0.05). Multivariate analyses revealed that no variables predicted new postoperative deficits or normalization of the female reproductive, cortisol, and IGF-1 axes. However, increased preoperative gland volume and younger age predicted the chances of a patient with any preoperative deficit experiencing normalization of at least 1 axis. Younger age and less severe preoperative hormonal deficit predicted normalization of the thyroid and male reproductive axes (p < 0.05).


After NFA resection, endocrine normalization rates in this study varied with the hormonal axis and were greater than the incidence of new endocrine deficits. Low preoperative gland volume precluded recovery. Patient age and the severity of the deficiency influenced the recovery of the thyroid and male reproductive axes, the most commonly impaired axes and most likely to normalize postoperatively. This information can be of use in counseling patients with hypopituitarism who undergo NFA surgery.

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Arman Jahangiri, Jeffrey Wagner, Sung Won Han, Corinna C. Zygourakis, Seunggu J. Han, Mai T. Tran, Liane M. Miller, Maxwell W. Tom, Sandeep Kunwar, Lewis S. Blevins Jr. and Manish K. Aghi


While transsphenoidal surgery is associated with low morbidity, the degree to which morbidity increases after reoperation remains unclear. The authors determined the morbidity associated with repeat versus initial transsphenoidal surgery after 1015 consecutive operations.


The authors conducted a 5-year retrospective review of the first 916 patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery at their institution after a pituitary center of expertise was established, and they analyzed morbidities.


The authors analyzed 907 initial and 108 repeat transsphenoidal surgeries performed in 916 patients (9 initial surgeries performed outside the authors' center were excluded). The most common diagnoses were endocrine inactive (30%) or active (36%) adenomas, Rathke's cleft cysts (10%), and craniopharyngioma (3%). Morbidity of initial surgery versus reoperation included diabetes insipidus ([DI] 16% vs 26%; p = 0.03), postoperative hyponatremia (20% vs 16%; p = 0.3), new postoperative hypopituitarism (5% vs 8%; p = 0.3), CSF leak requiring repair (1% vs 4%; p = 0.04), meningitis (0.4% vs 3%; p = 0.02), and length of stay ([LOS] 2.8 vs 4.5 days; p = 0.006). Of intraoperative parameters and postoperative morbidities, 1) some (use of lumbar drain and new postoperative hypopituitarism) did not increase with second or subsequent reoperations (p = 0.3–0.9); 2) some (DI and meningitis) increased upon second surgery (p = 0.02–0.04) but did not continue to increase for subsequent reoperations (p = 0.3–0.9); 3) some (LOS) increased upon second surgery and increased again for subsequent reoperations (p < 0.001); and 4) some (postoperative hyponatremia and CSF leak requiring repair) did not increase upon second surgery (p = 0.3) but went on to increase upon subsequent reoperations (p = 0.001–0.02). Multivariate analysis revealed that operation number, but not sex, age, pathology, radiation therapy, or lesion size, increased the risk of CSF leak, meningitis, and increased LOS. Separate analysis of initial versus repeat transsphenoidal surgery on the 2 most common benign pituitary lesions, pituitary adenomas and Rathke's cleft cysts, revealed that the increased incidence of DI and CSF leak requiring repair seen when all pathologies were combined remained significant when analyzing only pituitary adenomas and Rathke's cleft cysts (DI, 13% vs 35% [p = 0.001]; and CSF leak, 0.3% vs 9% [p = 0.0009]).


Repeat transsphenoidal surgery was associated with somewhat more frequent postoperative DI, meningitis, CSF leak requiring repair, and greater LOS than the low morbidity characterizing initial transsphenoidal surgery. These results provide a framework for neurosurgeons in discussing reoperation for pituitary disease with their patients.