, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 255–262 | Cite as

Complete evaluation of pituitary tumours in a single tertiary care institution

  • Dimitrios AskitisEmail author
  • Damianos Tsitlakidis
  • Nicolle Müller
  • Albrecht Waschke
  • Gunter Wolf
  • Ulrich Alfons Müller
  • Christof Kloos
Endocrine Surgery



We retrospectively evaluated all patients with pituitary tumours treated in our department from 1/1/1997 to 01/11/2014.

Patients and methods

Two hundred and fifteen patients (124 females, 91 males, mean age 50.9 years) were treated because of pituitary tumours. All patients underwent basal hormonal analysis and when required dynamic testing in order to check for hormonal activity. Pituitary masses were divided into groups concerning their hormonal status and were further classified according to gender, age at diagnosis, tumour size, and the development of postoperative pituitary insufficiency when neurosurgical intervention was conducted.


One hundred and twenty-one patients had hormonally inactive tumours (non-functional adenomas; 56.3%), 57 prolactinomas (26.5%), 17 growth hormone secreting adenomas (7.9%), 16 Cushing’s disease (7.4%), and 4 craniopharyngiomas (1.9%). Tumours with maximum size <1 cm (microadenomas) were detected in 62 patients (28.8%) and ≥1 cm (macroadenomas) in 153 (71.2%) of all cases (rate 1:2.5). Ninty eight patients (45.6%) had surgery (87 transsphenoidal and 11 transcranial), of this group 34 with hormonally active tumours (37.8% of the 90 patients of this subcohort). Indications for surgery were an increased risk or manifestation of chiasma syndrome and clinical symptoms due to hormonal hypersecretion. Complete [32 cases (32.6%)] or partial [33 cases (33.7%)] postoperative insufficiency in minimum one pituitary axis was present in 65/98 (66.3%) of the operated patients.


Pituitary adenoma prevalence is rising due to widely available imaging procedures. The majority of the tumours in our cohort were macroadenomas and hormonally inactive. Tumour extirpation via the transsphenoidal or transcranial route resulted in functional pituitary impairment of variable extent in 2/3 of the patients.


Pituitary tumours Epidemiology Thuringia 



Authors thank Department of Pathology, University of Jena, University Hospital Jena for its valuable help in assessing pituitary surgical specimens.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study and the Regional Ethical Committee approved the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Department, Internal Medicine IIIJena University HospitalJenaGermany
  2. 2.Private Practice for EndocrinologyAlexandroupolisGreece
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryJena University HospitalJenaGermany

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