Transsphenoidal microsurgical removal of growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas. A review of 137 cases

David S. Baskin, J. E. Boggan, C. B. Wilson

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75 Scopus citations


A series of 137 patients with growth hormone (GH)-secreting pituitary adenomas were treated by transsphenoidal surgery during a 10-year period. Group A comprised patients for whom this surgery was the first therapeutic intervention, and Group B included those who underwent the surgery after previous therapeutic intervention. The results were analyzed considering preoperative and postoperative endocrinological, neurological, ophthalmological, and neuroradiological data. Remission was defined as clinical response and a normal postoperative GH level, and partial remission as clinical response and postoperative reduction of the GH level by more than 50%. Any other result was considered failure. The mean follow-up period was 37.1 months; follow-up review was achieved in all the patients. Among the 102 patients in Group A, remission was achieved in 80 (78%) patients with transsphenoidal surgery alone, and in an additional 16 (16%) after postoperative irradiation (combined response rate, 94%). All failures and patients with partial remission had preoperative GH levels of more than 50 ng/ml and suprasellar extension of the tumor. There were no deaths; 8% of patients had minor surgical morbidity; 5% had new hypopituitarism postoperatively. Of patients subsequently irradiated, 71% developed hypopituitarism. Among the 35 patients in Group B, remission was achieved in 26 (74%), partial remission was obtained in two (6%), and seven (20%) were considered treatment failures. There were no deaths, and the morbidity rate was 14%; 66% of patients had hypopituitarism postoperatively. Of the eight patients who had received prior irradiation only, seven (88%) went into remission. All failures and partial responders had preoperative GH levels greater than 40 ng/ml; 56% had suprasellar extension. These results confirm the efficacy of the transsphenoidal approach for the treatment of GH-secreting pituitary adenomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-641
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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