The role of endoscopic endonasal surgery in the management of prolactinomas based on their invasiveness into the cavernous sinus

Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Arka N. Mallela, Aneek Patel, Rimsha K. Shariff, Samuel S. Shin, Phillip A. Choi, Amir H. Faraji, Pouneh K. Fazeli, Tina Costacou, Eric W. Wang, Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, Carl H. Snyderman, Paul A. Gardner, Georgios A. Zenonos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review our institutional experience with the surgical management of prolactinomas through the endoscopic endonasal approach with specific focus on cavernous sinus invasion. Methods: Clinical and radiographic data were collected retrospectively from the electronic medical record of 78 consecutive patients with prolactinomas undergoing endoscopic endonasal resection from 2002 to 2019. Immediate and late post-operative remission were defined as prolactin < 20 ng/mL within 14 days and 1-year of surgery without adjuvant therapy, respectively. Cavernous sinus invasion was quantified by Knosp score. Results: A total of 78 patients with prolactinoma, 59% being male, underwent surgical resection with a mean age of 37 ± 13 years. Indications for surgery were medication resistance in 38 patients (48.7%), medication intolerance in 11 (14.1%), and patient preference in 29 (37.2%). Patients with Knosp 0–2 achieved higher immediate remission rates (83.8%) compared to patients with Knosp 3 (58.8%) and Knosp 4 (41.7%) patients (p = 0.003). Long-term remission rates were 48.7% and increased to 71.8% when combined with adjuvant treatments. Knosp 4 prolactinomas had significantly higher tumor volumes, higher preoperative prolactin levels, higher recurrence rates, higher rates of adjuvant therapy utilization, and were more likely to have failed dopamine agonist therapy compared to other tumor grades (p < 0.05). We encountered 18 complications in our series, and no cerebrospinal fluid leaks. Conclusion: The endoscopic endonasal approach is a safe and effective modality that can be employed in properly selected patients with invasive prolactinomas. It is associated with improved control and remission rates despite cavernous sinus invasion, though at a lower rate than without invasion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-519
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Cavernous sinus
  • Endoscopic endonasal approach
  • Knosp score
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Prolactinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of endoscopic endonasal surgery in the management of prolactinomas based on their invasiveness into the cavernous sinus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this