Epidemiology and etiopathogenesis of pituitary adenomas

Elena D Aflorei, Márta Korbonits
Journal of Neuro-oncology 2014, 117 (3): 379-94
Pituitary adenomas are usually benign monoclonal tumours presenting either due to hypersecretion of pituitary hormones, and/or due to local space occupying effects and hyposecretion of some or all of the pituitary hormones. Some pituitary adenomas cause prominent symptoms, while others may result in slowly developing, insidious, non-specific complains delaying accurate diagnosis, with a third group remaining symptomless and recognised only incidentally. Therefore, it is a challenge to accurately determine the prevalence and incidence of pituitary adenomas in the general population. The vast majority of pituitary adenomas occur sporadically, but familial cases are now increasingly recognised. Hereditary predisposition, somatic mutations and endocrine factors were shown to have a pathophysiologic role in the initiation and progression of pituitary adenomas, which interestingly almost always remain benign. Here, we summarize the available epidemiological data and the known pathogenesis of the pituitary adenomas.

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