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Journal: Pituitary


The objective of this study was to evaluate outcomes of endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery using a single-surgeon technique as an alternative to the more commonly employed two-surgeon, three-hand method. Three hundred consecutive endoscopic transsphenoidal procedures performed over a 5 year period from 2006 to 2011 were reviewed. All procedures were performed via a binasal approach utilizing a single surgeon two handed technique with a pneumatic endoscope holder. Expanded enodnansal cases were excluded. Surgical technique, biochemical and surgical outcomes, and complications were analyzed. 276 patients underwent 300 consecutive surgeries with a mean follow-up period of 37 ± 22 months. Non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) was the most common pathology (n = 152), followed by growth hormone secreting tumors (n = 41) and Rathke’s cleft cysts (n = 30). Initial gross total cyst drainage based on radiologic criteria was obtained in 28 cases of Rathke’s cleft cyst, with 5 recurrences. For NFPA and other pathologies (n = 173) gross total resection was obtained in 137 cases, with a 92 % concordance rate between observed and expected extent of resection. For functional adenoma, remission rates were 30/41 (73 %) for GH-secreting, 12/12 (100 %) for ACTH-secreting, and 8/17 (47 %) for prolactin-secreting tumors. Post-operative complications included transient (11 %) and permanent (1.4 %) diabetes insipidus, hyponatremia (13 %), and new anterior pituitary hormonal deficits (1.4 %). CSF leak occurred in 42 cases (15 %), and four patients required surgical repair. Two carotid artery injuries occurred, both early in the series. Epistaxis and other rhinological complications were noted in 10 % of patients, most of which were minor and diminished as surgical experience increased. Fully endoscopic single surgeon transsphenoidal surgery utilizing a binasal approach and a pneumatic endoscope holder yields outcomes comparable to those reported with a two-surgeon method. Endoscopic outcomes appear to be better than those reported in microscope-based series, regardless of a one or two surgeon technique.

Concepts: Pituitary adenoma, Hospital, Surgery, Physician, Growth hormone, Common carotid artery, Anterior pituitary, Rathke's pouch


Diabetes insipidus (DI) after endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) can lead to increased morbidity, longer hospital stays, and increased medication requirements. Predicting which patients are at high risk for developing DI can help direct services to ensure adequate care and follow-up. The objective of this study was to review our institution’s experience with ETSS and determine which clinical/laboratory variables are associated with DI in this patient population. The authors wanted to see if there was an easily determined single value that would help predict which patients develop DI. This represents the largest North American series of this type. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who had undergone ETSS for resection of sellar and parasellar pathology between 2006 and 2011. We examined patient and tumor characteristics and their relationship to postoperative DI. Out of 172 endoscopic transsphenoidal surgeries, there were 15 cases of transient DI (8.7 %) and 14 cases of permanent DI (8.1 %). Statistically significant predictors of postoperative DI (p < 0.05) included tumor volume and histopathology (Rathke's cleft cyst and craniopharyngioma). Significant indicators of development of DI were postoperative serum sodium, preoperative to postoperative change in sodium level, and urine output prior to administration of 1-deamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin. An increase in serum sodium of ≥2.5 mmol/L is a positive marker of development of DI with 80 % specificity, and a postoperative serum sodium of ≥145 mmol/L is a positive indicator with 98 % specificity. Identifying perioperative risk factors and objective indicators of DI after ETSS will help physicians care for patients postoperatively. In this large series, we demonstrated that there were multiple perioperative risk factors for the development of DI. These findings, which are consistent with other reports from microscopic surgical series, will help identify patients at risk for diabetes insipidus, aid in planning treatment algorithms, and increase vigilance in high risk patients.

Concepts: Hospital, Developmental biology, Surgery, Prediction, Physician, Diabetes insipidus, Craniopharyngioma, Rathke's pouch


The use of dopamine agonists (DAs) has been associated with increased impulsivity and impulse control disorders in several diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. Such an effect of DAs on impulsivity has not been clearly characterized in hyperprolactinemic patients, where DAs are the mainstay of therapy. We studied the effects of DAs on impulsivity in hyperprolactinemic patients treated at a tertiary pituitary center, using validated psychometric tests. Cross-sectional study. Impulsivity was evaluated in 30 subjects, 10 hyperprolactinemic patients on DAs compared to two control groups; one comprising untreated hyperprolactinemic patients (n = 10) and a second group consisting of normoprolactinemic controls with pituitary lesions (n = 10). Measures of impulsivity included both self-report questionnaires as well as laboratory-based tasks. Hyperprolactinemic patients on DAs had a higher score (mean ± SD) in one self-report measure of impulsivity, the attention subscale of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (16.2 ± 2.7), as compared to the hyperprolactinemic control group (12.3 ± 2.5) and the normoprolactinemic group (14.7 ± 4.4) (p = 0.04). No statistically significant difference was found between groups with regards to the other impulsivity scales. In the DA-treated group, a correlation was observed between increased impulsivity (as assessed in the Experiential Discounting Task) and higher weekly cabergoline dose (r(2) = 0.49, p = 0.04). The use of DAs in hyperprolactinemic patients is associated with an increase in one aspect of impulsivity. This effect should be further characterized in larger, longitudinal studies.

Concepts: Scientific method, Statistical significance, Parkinson's disease, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Prolactinoma, Pramipexole, Ropinirole, Cabergoline


The management of giant prolactinomas remains a major challenge, despite dopamine agonists being the first line of treatment, owing to its efficacy to normalize prolactin levels and reduce tumor volume. The aim of this study is to characterize the therapeutic aspects, manifestations and outcomes of 16 cases of giant prolactinomas admitted at a single tertiary center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Prolactin, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Mecca, Middle East, Prolactinoma, Jeddah, Ha'il


Non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs) are associated with impaired well-being, increased comorbidities, and reduced long-term survival. Data on optimal management of NFPAs around surgical treatment are scarce, and postoperative treatment and follow-up strategies have not been evaluated in prospective trials. Here, we review the preoperative, perioperative, and early postoperative management of patients with NFPAs.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the viral strain that has caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has presented healthcare systems around the world with an unprecedented challenge. In locations with significant rates of viral transmission, social distancing measures and enforced ‘lockdowns’ are the new ‘norm’ as governments try to prevent healthcare services from being overwhelmed. However, with these measures have come important challenges for the delivery of existing services for other diseases and conditions. The clinical care of patients with pituitary disorders typically involves a multidisciplinary team, working in concert to deliver timely, often complex, disease investigation and management, including pituitary surgery. COVID-19 has brought about major disruption to such services, limiting access to care and opportunities for testing (both laboratory and radiological), and dramatically reducing the ability to safely undertake transsphenoidal surgery. In the absence of clinical trials to guide management of patients with pituitary disease during the COVID-19 pandemic, herein the Professional Education Committee of the Pituitary Society proposes guidance for continued safe management and care of this population.


Acromegaly patients, even those with IGF-1 values within the normal range receiving somatostatin receptor ligands (SRLs), often suffer from significant symptoms. It is not known to what extent patients' medical providers are aware of the frequency and severity of acromegaly symptoms or level of treatment satisfaction with SRLs. This study sought to examine the concordance between outcomes reported by acromegaly patients treated with long-acting SRLs and those perceived by their medical provider.


In a 10-week proof-of-concept study (LINC 1), the potent oral 11β-hydroxylase inhibitor osilodrostat (LCI699) normalized urinary free cortisol (UFC) in 11/12 patients with Cushing’s disease. The current 22-week study (LINC 2; NCT01331239) further evaluated osilodrostat in patients with Cushing’s disease.

Concepts: Hypertension, Corticosteroid, Glucocorticoid, Cortisol, Cushing's syndrome, Zona fasciculata


Highlight and characterize manifestations, diagnostic/management approaches and outcomes in a contemporary cohort of patients with pituitary metastases (PM) from a large European pituitary center-over 10 years.


Consensus guidelines recommend dopamine agonists (DAs) as the mainstay treatment for prolactinomas. In most patients, DAs achieve tumor shrinkage and normoprolactinemia at well tolerated doses. However, primary or, less often, secondary resistance to DAs may be also encountered representing challenging clinical scenarios. This is particularly true for aggressive prolactinomas in which surgery and radiotherapy may not achieve tumor control. In these cases, alternative medical treatments have been considered but data on their efficacy should be interpreted within the constraints of publication bias and of lack of relevant clinical trials. The limited reports on somatostatin analogues have shown conflicting results, but cases with optimal outcomes have been documented. Data on estrogen modulators and metformin are scarce and their usefulness remains to be evaluated. In many aggressive lactotroph tumors, temozolomide has demonstrated optimal outcomes, whereas for other cytotoxic agents, tyrosine kinase inhibitors and for inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), higher quality evidence is needed. Finally, promising preliminary results from in vitro and animal reports need to be further assessed and, if appropriate, translated in human studies.