JOURNAL ARTICLE

The natural history of the pituitary incidentaloma

L E Donovan, B Corenblum
Archives of Internal Medicine 1995 January 23, 155 (2): 181-3
7811127

BACKGROUND: The wide availability of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging has resulted in the discovery of unsuspected endocrinologically silent pituitary masses (incidentalomas). Because the natural history of this entity is not known, the approach to the pituitary incidentaloma has not been established.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the natural history of untreated pituitary incidentaloma, recognizing that this includes lesions of various causes.

METHODS: Thirty-one adults with incidentalomas were prospectively followed up conservatively for a mean of 6.4 years (range, 3 to 11 years). Clinical and biochemical assessment, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the pituitary, and visual field testing by Goldmann perimetry at baseline, 6 months, and yearly thereafter were the outcomes assessed.

RESULTS: Only patients with pituitary incidentalomas greater than 10 mm in greatest diameter developed tumor enlargement or complications. Three patients developed asymptomatic tumor enlargement. In four patients, masses decreased in size. Only two patients developed complications. One required subsequent surgery. The only permanent impairment was panhypopituitarism following surgery in this patient.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with pituitary incidentalomas of unknown causes usually follow a benign course for at least 6 years after discovery. Neurosurgical intervention is not initially required in the management of is not initially required in the management of pituitary incidentalomas, particularly those less than 10 mm, as long as clinical observation can be continued.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
7811127
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.