Non-functioning pituitary adenoma database: A useful resource to improve the clinical management of pituitary tumors

Emanuele Ferrante, Monica Ferraroni, Tristana Castrignanò, Laura Menicatti, Mascia Anagni, Giuseppe Reimondo, Patrizia Del Monte, Donatella Bernasconi, Paola Loli, Marco Faustini-Fustini, Giorgio Borretta, Massimo Terzolo, Marco Losa, Alberto Morabito, Anna Spada, Paolo Beck-Peccoz, Andrea G. Lania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The long-term outcome of non-functioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA) patients is not clearly established, probably due to the low annual incidence and prolonged natural history of these rare tumors. The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical data at presentation and long-term post-surgery and radiotherapy outcome in a cohort of patients with NFPA. Design and methods: A computerized database was developed using Access 2000 software (Microsoft Corporation, 1999). Retrospective registration of 295 NFPA patients was performed in seven Endocrinological Centers of North West Italy. Data were analyzed by STATA software. Results: The main presenting symptoms were visual defects (67.8%) and headache (41.4%) and the most frequent pituitary deficit was hypogonadism (43.3%), since almost all tumors were macroadenomas (96.5%). Surgery was the first choice treatment (98% of patients) and total debulking was achieved in 35.5%. Radiotherapy was performed as adjuvant therapy after surgery in 41% of patients. At the follow-up, recurrence occurred in 19.2% of patients without post-surgical residual tumor after 7.5 ± 2.6 years, regrowth in 58.4% of patients with post-surgical remnant after 5.3 ± 4.0 years and residue enlargement in 18.4% of patients post-surgically treated with radiotherapy after 8.1 ± 7.3 years. Conclusions: Our database indicates that the goal of a definitive surgical cure has been achieved during the last decade in a low percentage of patients with NFPA. This tumor database may help to reduce the delay between symptom onset and diagnosis, to assess prognostic parameters for the follow-up of patients with different risk of recurrence and to define the efficacy and safety of different treatments and their association with mortality/morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-829
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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