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Pituitary tumours 

Pituitary tumours
Chapter:
Pituitary tumours
Author(s):

Edward R. Laws

, Whitney W. Woodmansee

, and Jay S. Loeffler

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199651870.003.0018
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date: 30 May 2020

Pituitary tumours are common, usually benign, lesions ordinarily well controlled by multidisciplinary management. The several subtypes of pituitary tumours reflect the hormones produced by the pituitary gland, and each may require a complex sequential programme of treatment. Modern laboratory evaluation and imaging is capable of extensively characterizing the tumours, and is the basis for the recommended therapies. The tumours that produce excess active levels of pituitary hormones may be amenable to very satisfactory medical therapy, which reduces hormone levels towards normal, and often causes shrinkage of the tumour. Surgical management is appropriate for tumours that are not producing excess hormones but by nature of their bulk can compress the optic nerves and cause visual loss. These tumours respond well to surgical management, which is usually done using the transnasal, transsphenoidal route of access. Patients with persistent or recurrent tumours and persistent hormonal excess can be effectively treated with modern techniques of radiation therapy. A multidisciplinary approach with specialists from different fields concentrating on the patient and the problem offers a comprehensive and effective solution for most patients with pituitary disorders.

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