Pituitary Adenoma

  • Lindsay M. BurtEmail author
  • Gita Suneja
  • Dennis C. Shrieve


Pituitary adenomas are a common benign neoplasm of the brain estimated to represent approximately 15–20% of all intracranial neoplasms. Clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas account for 25–30% of pituitary adenomas, while secreting pituitary adenomas account for the rest. Pituitary adenomas are found incidentally on brain computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in approximately 20–40% of cases. Other patients present with visual symptoms from tumor compression of the optic chiasm, headache, or hypopituitarism. Secreting adenomas often present with symptoms related to hormone hypersecretion. Treatment of pituitary adenomas can include a combination of medical management, surgical resection, and radiation therapy. Radiation is typically reserved for subtotal resections, recurrence, secreting pituitary adenomas refractory to surgery and medical management, and atypical pituitary adenomas. When radiation therapy is needed for nonfunctional pituitary adenomas, fractionated doses of 45–50.4 Gray (Gy) and radiosurgery doses of 15 Gy should be used. Secreting pituitary adenomas require higher doses, either 50.4–54 Gy for a fractionated course or at least 20 Gy for stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Radiation therapy provides excellent 10-year local control rates approaching 90–95%.


Pituitary Adenoma Stereotactic radiosurgery Functioning adenoma Nonfunctioning adenoma 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lindsay M. Burt
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gita Suneja
    • 3
  • Dennis C. Shrieve
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Huntsman Cancer InstituteSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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