Immunohistochemistry of Pituitary Adenomas

  • B. K. Kleinschmidt-DeMasters
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE, volume 3)


The use of immunohistochemical staining has had a considerable impact on general surgical pathology, where it serves to clarify the diagnosis on confusing cases. In contrast, immunohistochemistry for pituitary adenomas is seldom necessary to make the diagnosis but has, along with transmission electron microscopy, served as the backbone for a modern classification system of adenoma subtypes. The surety with which most pituitary adenomas are diagnosed preoperatively via their clinical presentations, serum hormone values, and/or radio-graphic studies of the sellar region (usually magnetic resonance imaging) often make the role of the pathologist or neuropathologist who sees pituitary adenomas under the microscope one of confirmation (1). Only occasionally do other sellar masses mimic pituitary adenomas preoperatively, and then the light microscopic appearance, either at the time of frozen or permanent histological section, is usually all that is necessary to identify the type of tumor. Rarely is it necessary to employ immunohistochemistry for the differential diagnosis of sellar region masses.


Pituitary Adenoma Sphenoid Sinus Original Magnification Anterior Pituitary Cell Anterior Pituitary Hormone 
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© Humana Press Inc. 1997

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  • B. K. Kleinschmidt-DeMasters

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