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Amparo Wolf, Alexandra Coros, Joel Bierer, Sandy Goncalves, Paul Cooper, Stan Van Uum, Donald H. Lee, Alain Proulx, David Nicolle, J. Alexander Fraser, Brian W. Rotenberg and Neil Duggal

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic resection of pituitary adenomas has been reported to improve vision function in up to 80%–90% of patients with visual impairment due to these adenomas. It is unclear how these reported rates translate into improvement in visual outcomes and general health as perceived by the patients. The authors evaluated self-assessed health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) and vision-related QOL (VR-QOL) in patients before and after endoscopic resection of pituitary adenomas.

METHODS

The authors prospectively collected data from 50 patients who underwent endoscopic resection of pituitary adenomas. This cohort included 32 patients (64%) with visual impairment preoperatively. Twenty-seven patients (54%) had pituitary dysfunction, including 17 (34%) with hormone-producing tumors. Patients completed the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey preoperatively and 6 weeks and 6 months after surgery.

RESULTS

Patients with preoperative visual impairment reported a significant impact of this condition on VR-QOL preoperatively, including general vision, near activities, and peripheral vision; they also noted vision-specific impacts on mental health, role difficulties, dependency, and driving. After endoscopic resection of adenomas, patients reported improvement across all these categories 6 weeks postoperatively, and this improvement was maintained by 6 months postoperatively. Patients with preoperative pituitary dysfunction, including hormone-producing tumors, perceived their general health and physical function as poorer, with some of these patients reporting improvement in perceived general health after the endoscopic surgery. All patients noted that their ability to work or perform activities of daily living was transiently reduced 6 weeks postoperatively, followed by significant improvement by 6 months after the surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Both VR-QOL and patient's perceptions of their ability to do work and perform other daily activities as a result of their physical health significantly improved by 6 months after endoscopic resection of pituitary adenoma. The use of multidimensional QOL questionnaires provides a precise assessment of perceived outcomes after endoscopic surgery.