Results of stereotactic radiosurgery in patients with hormone-producing pituitary adenomas: Factors associated with endocrine normalization

Bruce E. Pollock, Todd B. Nippoldt, Scott L. Stafford, Robert L. Foote, Charles F. Abboud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Object. The goal of this study was to determine factors associated with endocrine normalization after radiosurgery is performed in patients with hormone-producing pituitary adenomas. Methods. Between 1990 and 1999, 43 patients with hormone-producing pituitary adenomas underwent radiosurgery: 26 patients with growth hormone (GH)-producing tumors, nine with adrenocorticotrophic hormone-producing tumors, seven with tumors that produced prolactin (PRL) alone, and one with a tumor that secreted both GH and PRL. The median patient age was 42 years. Thirty-seven patients (86%) had undergone surgery earlier and in 30 (70%) there was tumor extension into the cavernous sinus. The product-limit method was used to calculate endocrine normalization while patients were not receiving any hormone-suppressive medication. The median follow-up period after radio-surgery was 36 months (range 12-108 months). In 20 patients (47%) there was normalization of hormone secretion at a median of 14 months (range 2-44 months) after radiosurgery; no correlation was found between tumor type and cure. Actuarial cure rates were 20, 32, and 61% at 1, 2, and 4 years posttreatment. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the absence of hormone-suppressive medications at the time of radiosurgery (relative risk 8.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-68.7, p = 0.04) and maximum radiation doses greater than 40 Gy (relative risk 3.9, 95% CI 1.3-11.7, p = 0.02) correlated with an endocrine cure. A new anterior pituitary deficiency developed in seven patients (16%), temporal lobe necrosis was identified in two patients, an asymptomatic internal carotid artery stenosis was detected in two patients, and unilateral blindness occurred in one patient. Conclusions. Radiosurgery provides an endocrine cure for many patients with persistent or recurrent hormone-producing pituitary adenomas. Further study is needed to determine whether pituitary hormone-suppressive medications have a radioprotective effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-530
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Acromegaly
  • Cushing disease
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Prolactin
  • Radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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