Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 159, Issue 11, pp 2187–2192 | Cite as

Clinical characteristics of pituitary adenomas with radiological calcification

  • Toshihiro Ogiwara
  • Alhusain Nagm
  • Yasunaga Yamamoto
  • Takatoshi Hasegawa
  • Akihiro Nishikawa
  • Kazuhiro Hongo
Original Article - Brain Tumors



Radiographic detection of calcification in pituitary adenoma is relatively rare, and the clinical characteristics of pituitary adenoma with calcification remain unclear. Herein, the clinical characteristics of pituitary adenoma with radiological calcification were investigated.


A total of 160 patients who underwent surgical resection of pituitary adenomas between February 2004 and December 2016 were reviewed. Eighty-one patients had hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas, and 79 patients had nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma. Among these 160 patients, cases with radiological calcifications on preoperative neuroimaging were included in this study, and clinical characteristics with intraoperative findings were analyzed, retrospectively.


Pituitary adenoma with calcification on preoperative neuroimaging was observed in only nine cases (5.6%). The study population consisted of these nine patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (n = 5), mixed growth hormone and prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas (n = 3), and a prolactinoma (n = 1). In 89% of cases (n = 8), calcified pituitary adenoma was soft enough for suction despite the presence of a granular gritty texture intraoperatively. Besides, in a single patient (11%), evidence of hard thick capsular calcification was seen surrounding a soft tumor component; however, it did not interfere with adequate removal of the soft part, and tumor resection was possible in all cases without any complications.


Pituitary adenoma presenting with calcification is relatively rare, but should be kept in mind to avoid making a wrong preoperative diagnosis. As not all pituitary adenomas with calcification are hard tumors, preoperative radiological calcification should not affect decision-making regarding surgical indications.


Pituitary adenoma Calcification Transsphenoidal surgery Surgical strategy 


Compliance with ethical standards


The authors have no personal financial or institutional interests in any of the drugs, materials or devices discussed in the article. All authors, who are members of The Japan Neurosurgical Society (JNS), have registered online Self-reported COI Disclosure Statement Forms through the website for JNS members.

Patient consent

The patient/next of kin/guardian has consented to the submission of this Original Article for submission to the journal.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshihiro Ogiwara
    • 1
  • Alhusain Nagm
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yasunaga Yamamoto
    • 1
  • Takatoshi Hasegawa
    • 1
  • Akihiro Nishikawa
    • 1
  • Kazuhiro Hongo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryShinshu University School of MedicineMatsumotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of NeurosurgeryAl-Azhar University Faculty of Medicine-Nasr cityCairoEgypt

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