Long-term results in transsphenoidal removal of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas

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  • 1 Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
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✓ Little has been written about the long-term results of transsphenoidal treatment for clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. The records of 100 patients who had undergone a transsphenoidal procedure for excision of such tumors were reviewed. Immunocytology for pituitary hormones was performed in all cases. The group consisted predominantly of null-cell adenomas, although a small number of prolactinomas and gonadotropic tumors were found. The mean diameter of the tumors at the time of detection was slightly more than 2 cm. In most cases, the presenting symptoms were due to the mass effect of the tumor (that is, visual symptoms in 72 patients, hypopituitarism in 61, headache in 36, and cranial nerve disturbance other than visual loss in 10). Radiation therapy was recommended for patients in whom subtotal removal of the adenoma was expected. Six patients developed symptomatic tumor recurrence, and 10 patients demonstrated radiographic recurrence during the 48 to 100 months (mean 73.4 months) of follow-up observation. Only three of 10 deaths during the follow-up period were due to pituitary disease or treatment.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Michael J. Ebersold, M.D., Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street S.W., Rochester, Minnesota 55905.
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