Pituitary adenomas in childhood and adolescence

Laurie A. Kane, Matthew C. Leinung, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Erik J. Bergstralh, Edward R. Laws, Robert V. Groover, Kalman Kovacs, Eva Horvath, Donald Zimmerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


A clinicopathological study of 56 pediatric patients with non-ACTH- secreting pituitary adenomas removed by a transsphenoidal neurosurgical approach was undertaken to better define the clinical presentation, to assess demographic factors, to determine the immunohistochemical staining characteristics of the tumors, and to evaluate the outcome of transsphenoidal surgical treatment and other adjuvant therapies. A separate analysis of prolactinoma patients was performed. All tumors were confirmed histologically and immunophenotyped for pituitary hormones. Forty-one patients had tumors that stained for PRL alone, eight patients had tumors that stained for PRL and GH, six patients had plurihormonal adenomas, and one patient had a tumor that stained for glycoprotein hormones. No tumors contained GH alone. Macroadenomas exceeded microadenomas (1.4:1). There were no male patients with microadenomas of any type. Females outnumbered males (3.3:1). Patients presented most frequently with headache, menstrual dysfunction (in females), galactorrhea, and hypopituitarism. All but one of the patients with hypopituitarism at presentation had macroadenomas. Tumor staining characteristics did not always correlate well with clinical status, especially with regard to GH-containing tumors. Pediatric pituitary tumors did not appear to be more invasive or more aggressive than adult pituitary tumors, contrary to some previous reports. The patients with microadenomas had a 70% operative cure rate and a 65% long term cure rate; the recurrence rate for microadenoma patients was 25%. Macroadenoma patients had a 33% operative cure rate, a 55% long term cure rate, and a recurrence rate of 33%. Thus, microadenoma and macroadenoma patients had similar long term cure rates, but macroadenoma patients required more aggressive adjuvant therapy (second surgery, radiation, or bromocriptine) and had higher rates of hypopituitarism (52% of macroadenoma patients vs. 0% of microadenoma patients required long term hormone replacement).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1135-1140
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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