Significance and Indications of Surgery for Asymptomatic Nonfunctioning Pituitary Adenomas.


Department of Neurosurgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : The availability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has led to an increase in the detection of pituitary incidentaloma (PI). However, there are no robust data on surgical treatment of PI on which to base therapeutic recommendations. This study was performed to investigate the significance of surgery for asymptomatic nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) among PIs.
METHODS : A total of 180 patients that underwent tumor resection of pituitary adenoma via the transsphenoidal approach between 2005 and 2017 were reviewed. Thirty-three consecutive patients with subjectively asymptomatic NFPA were included in this study. Our surgical indications for asymptomatic NFPAs were categorized as follows: macroadenoma with optic chiasma compression (group A, n = 14), solid tumor ≥2 cm in size (group B, n = 7), and tumor growth on follow-up MRI (group C, n = 12). The clinical outcomes were analyzed accordingly.
RESULTS : Seven patients (50%) in group A showed subjective improvement of visual function after tumor resection even though they had no complaints preoperatively. On the other hand, no changes occurred in any cases in group B or group C. Although there were no critical complications in this series, the incidence of nonnegligible nasal complications was relatively high (24.2%) and may decrease the patient's quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS : Surgery should be recommended for asymptomatic NFPA with optic chiasma compression to improve visual outcome. On the other hand, immediate intervention for other asymptomatic NFPA to reduce the likelihood of the appearance of tumor-related symptoms remains questionable considering its invasiveness to the nose.


Endoscopic endonasal approach,Pituitary incidentaloma,Surgical indication,Treatment strategy,