Treatment of recurrent and persistent Cushing’s disease after first transsphenoidal surgery: lessons learned from an international meta-analysis

Carlos Perez-Vega, Andres Ramos-Fresnedo, Shashwat Tripathi, Ricardo A. Domingo, Krishnan Ravindran, Joao P. Almeida, Jennifer Peterson, Daniel M. Trifiletti, Kaisorn L. Chaichana, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Susan L. Samson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) is the first-line treatment for patients with Cushing’s Disease (CD). Recurrence rates after a first TSS range between 3 and 22% within 3 years. Management of recurrent or persistent CD may include repeat TSS or stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). We performed a meta-analysis to explore the overall efficacy of TSS and SRS for patients with CD after an initial surgical intervention. Methods: EMBASE, PubMed, SCOPUS, and Cochrane databases were searched from their dates-of-inception up to December 2021. Inclusion criteria were comprised of patients with an established diagnosis of CD who presented with persistent or biochemically recurrent disease after a first TSS for tumor resection and were treated with a second TSS or SRS. Results: Search criteria yielded 2,116 studies of which 37 articles from 15 countries were included for analysis. Mean age ranged between 29.9 and 47.9 years, and mean follow-up was 11–104 months. TSS was used in 669 (67.7%) patients, while SRS was used in 320 (32.4%) patients, and remission rates for CD were 59% (95%CI 0.49–0.68) and 74% (95%CI 0.54–0.88), respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the remission rate between TSS and SRS (P = 0.15). The remission rate of patients with recurrent CD undergoing TSS was 53% (95%CI 0.32–0.73), and for persistent CD was 41% (95%CI 0.28–0.56) (P = 0.36). Conclusion: Both TSS and SRS are possible approaches for the treatment of recurrent or persistent CD after a first TSS. Our data show that either TSS or SRS represent viable treatment options to achieve remission for this subset of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-549
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Cushing’s disease
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Transsphenoidal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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