Pituitary Adenomas in a Nutshell

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These pituitary adenomas are the most common sellar tumours in the adults. This condition in turn is the most common cause of hyper-pituitarism.  

There is basically two types of pituitary adenomas. They are:

  1. Functional.
  2. Silent type.

This functional type is the type in which there is hormone excess. Here the patient presents with the features of hormonal excess. But in the other hand in the case of silent type of pituitary adenomas, the patient does not present with the features of hormonal excess. It happens so because the adenomas may or may not produce excess of hormones.

Pituitary adenomas secrete two types of hormones.

  1. Growth hormone (Growth hormone secreting adenomas).  And.

  2. Prolactin (Prolactinomas).

Prolactinomas are the most common type of pituitary adenomas. The females are affected four times more than the males. But in the case of growth hormone secreting adenomas the males are affected twice more than that of the females.

The common presentation in the disease is the features of hormonal excess. And sometimes the patient presents with mass effect. The common mass effect presentations are:

  1. Visual field disturbances.

  2. Raised intra-cranial pressure.

  3. Hypopituitarism.

The case of hypopituitarism in case of pituitary adenomas is rather misleading. It happens in the case of pituitary adenomas. It is rather rare. Here the growing tissue compresses the normal pituitary.

In case of pituitary adenomas, pituitary apoplexy may occur. Here acute haemorrhage occurs into the pituitary adenoma. It cause rapid enlargement of the mass and the patient deteriorates very fast.

Sometimes the pituitary adenomas may undergo dystrophic calcification.

References:

1. http://www.pituitaryadenomas.com/

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pituitary_adenoma

3. Pituitary Tumor Transforming Gene (PTTG) Expression in Pituitary Adenomas

4. Clonal origin of pituitary adenomas.

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