Endoscopic Endonasal Transsphenoidal Surgery for Patients with Prolactinomas: Indications and Outcomes

Bahar K. Force, Kristen Staggers, Sherly Sebastian, Masayoshi Takashima, Daniel Yoshor, Susan L. Samson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Clinical paradigms and consensus recommend dopamine agonists (DAs) as the primary treatment for prolactinomas. However, medically treated patients also encounter challenges such as DA resistance, intolerable side effects, and recurrence of hyperprolactinemia after DA withdrawal. Technical advances in transsphenoidal resection, with an endoscopic endonasal approach, have led to improved visualization of tumor, decreased postoperative morbidity, and shortened length of stay. We examined the indications and outcomes in patients with prolactinomas who underwent surgical resection at our center. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of 60 consecutive patients with prolactinomas who underwent endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal resection between August 2010 and July 2019 and were followed by the same multidisciplinary team. Results: Women comprised 73% of surgical cases, and 60% of the tumors were macroadenomas. The most common primary surgical indication was patient preference (26.6%) followed by DA intolerance (25%) and DA failure (18.3% inadequate shrinkage, 15% persistent hyperprolactinemia, 11.7% both). Gross total resection was noted in 83% and length of stay was 1 day in 92% of patients. Early remission (postoperative day 1 normalization of prolactin off DA therapy) was seen in 71% of all patients, 91% of microadenomas, 56% of macroadenomas, 65% of Knosp grade 0–2 macroadenomas, and 75% of macroadenomas operated on with expectation of a cure. Only 3 patients had recurrence, at 4.3, 3.3, and 1.6 years of follow-up, respectively. Conclusions: Endoscopic endonasal resection is a viable option for management of patients with prolactinomas in the setting of a high-volume pituitary center, with minimal postoperative complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e626-e635
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Cabergoline
  • Dopamine agonist
  • Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Prolactinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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