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  • Author or Editor: Daniel M. Prevedello x
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Andrew S. Little, Paul A. Gardner, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Michael R. Chicoine, Garni Barkhoudarian, Daniel M. Prevedello, Kevin C. J. Yuen, Daniel F. Kelly and for the TRANSSPHER Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Recovery from preexisting hypopituitarism after transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma is an important outcome to investigate. Furthermore, pituitary function has not been thoroughly evaluated after fully endoscopic surgery, and benchmark outcomes have not been clearly established. Here, the authors characterize pituitary gland outcomes with a focus on gland recovery following endoscopic transsphenoidal removal of clinically nonfunctioning adenomas.

METHODS

This multicenter prospective study was conducted at 6 US pituitary centers among adult patients with nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas who had undergone endoscopic endonasal pituitary surgery. Pituitary gland function was evaluated 6 months after surgery.

RESULTS

The 177 enrolled patients underwent fully endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery; 169 (95.5%) of them were available for follow-up. Ninety-five (56.2%) of the 169 patients had had a preoperative deficiency in at least one hormone axis, and 20/95 (21.1%) experienced recovery in at least one axis at the 6-month follow-up. Patients with adrenal insufficiency were more likely to recover (10/34 [29.4%]) than were those with hypothyroidism (8/72 [11.1%]) or male hypogonadism (5/50 [10.0%]). At the 6-month follow-up, 14/145 (9.7%) patients had developed at least one new deficiency. The study did not identify any predictors of gland recovery (p ≥ 0.20). Permanent diabetes insipidus was observed in 4/166 (2.4%) patients. Predictors of new gland dysfunction included a larger tumor size (p = 0.009) and Knosp grade 3 and 4 (p = 0.051).

CONCLUSIONS

Fully endoscopic pituitary surgery resulted in improvement of pituitary gland function in a substantial minority of patients. The deficiency from which patients were most likely to recover was adrenal insufficiency. Overall rates of postoperative permanent diabetes insipidus were low. This study provides multicenter benchmark neuroendocrine clinical outcome data for the endoscopic technique.

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Andrew S. Little, Daniel F. Kelly, William L. White, Paul A. Gardner, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Michael R. Chicoine, Garni Barkhoudarian, James P. Chandler, Daniel M. Prevedello, Brandon D. Liebelt, John Sfondouris, Marc R. Mayberg and for the TRANSSPHER Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Many surgeons have adopted fully endoscopic over microscopic transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctioning pituitary tumors, although no high-quality evidence demonstrates superior patient outcomes with endoscopic surgery. The goal of this analysis was to compare these techniques in a prospective multicenter controlled study.

METHODS

Extent of tumor resection was compared after endoscopic or microscopic transsphenoidal surgery in adults with nonfunctioning adenomas. The primary end point was gross-total tumor resection determined by postoperative MRI. Secondary end points included volumetric extent of tumor resection, pituitary hormone outcomes, and standard quality measures.

RESULTS

Seven pituitary centers and 15 surgeons participated in the study. Of the 530 patients screened, 260 were enrolled (82 who underwent microscopic procedures, 177 who underwent endoscopic procedures, and 1 who cancelled surgery) between February 2015 and June 2017. Surgeons who used the microscopic technique were more experienced than the surgeons who used the endoscopic technique in terms of years in practice and number of transsphenoidal surgeries performed (p < 0.001). Gross-total resection was achieved in 80.0% (60/75) of microscopic surgery patients and 83.7% (139/166) of endoscopic surgery patients (p = 0.47, OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4–1.6). Volumetric extent of resection, length of stay, surgery-related deaths, and unplanned readmission rates were similar between groups (p > 0.2). New hormone deficiency was present at 6 months in 28.4% (19/67) of the microscopic surgery patients and 9.7% (14/145) of the endoscopic surgery patients (p < 0.001, OR 3.7, 95% CI 1.7–7.7). Microscopic surgery cases were significantly shorter in duration than endoscopic surgery cases (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Experienced surgeons who performed microscopic surgery and less experienced surgeons who performed endoscopic surgery achieved similar extents of tumor resection and quality outcomes in patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. The endoscopic technique may be associated with lower rates of postoperative pituitary gland dysfunction. This study generally supports the transition to endoscopic pituitary surgery when the procedure is performed by proficient surgeons, although both techniques yield overall acceptable surgical outcomes.

CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE Type of question: therapeutic; study design: prospective cohort trial; evidence: class III.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02357498 (clinicaltrials.gov)