Endocrine function in patients with large pituitary tumors treated with operative decompression and radiation therapy

P. B. Nelson, M. L. Goodman, J. C. Flickenger, D. W. Richardson, A. G. Robinson

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Large pituitary tumors are still a common problem. Thirty consecutive patients underwent operative decompression and radiation therapy for large sellar and suprasellar tumors. They were studied prospectively in terms of their endocrine outcome. Ten of the patients had panhypopituitarism both before and after treatment. The other 20 patients had partial hormonal deficits prior to treatment. Ten (50%) of the 20 patients who had partial preoperative deficits went on to develop delayed onset of worsening in their endocrine function; 9 of the 10 developed panhypopituitarism, and 1 patient developed decreased thyroid function. The mean time from surgery until the onset of delayed worsening in endocrine function was 26.1 months. The mean age of those patients who developed delayed onset of worsening in pituitary function was significantly higher than that of those did not develop further hormonal loss (40.5 ± 3.1 years versus 52.0 ± 4.1 years, P<0.05). None of the 10 patients with delayed onset of worsening in pituitary function had anatomical evidence by computed tomographic scan of tumor recurrence. Delayed onset radiation effect is the most likely cause of the late onset of worsening in endocrine function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-400
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1989


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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