A Pituitary Adenoma is a tumor of the Pituitary gland that is located in the brain.

The gland is an important contributor for several metabolic and hormone related functions of the body.

It is considered a master gland because it does so much.

The gland is divided into two lobes.

 

Types of Tumors

An Adenoma of the pituitary gland is a tumor that accounts for almost 15% of all neoplasms in the brain.

A Macroadenoma is a tumor that is larger than 10mm.

A Microadenoma is a tumor that is smaller than 10mm and most of these tumors are undiagnosed and undiscovered. Many of these tumors aren’t seen until Autopsy.

 

Pituitary Tumors are classified based on location, function, and other criteria

1.) Lactotrophic Adenomas (Prolactinomas)

  • Secretes Prolactin
  • Symptoms of milk from nipple, changes in menstrual period, infertility, and others

2.) Somatotrophic Adenomas

  • Secretes Growth Hormone
  • Symptoms of Gigantism or acromegaly

3.) Corticotrophic Adenomas

  • Secretes Adenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH)
  • Symptoms of Cushing’s disease

4.) Gonadotrophic Adenomas

  • Secretes Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicule Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and subunits
  • No symptoms

5.) Thyrotrophic Adenomas

  • Secretes Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Symptoms of hyperthyroidism in some cases, otherwise, no symptoms

6.) Null Cell Adenomas

  • Secretes no hormones
  • No Symptoms

Diagnosis

  • Is often related to symptoms, at least at first.
  • CT or MRI scan of brain may help in some cases to confirm the symptoms
  • Blood tests of hormones secreted can also be beneficial

Treatment

Prolactinomas can be treated with:

.  Bromocriptine
.  Cabergoline
.  Quinagolide
.  Dopamine Agonists

  • Radiation Therapy – for large tumors
  • Surgery – for large tumors

Surgery

  • Common treatment for pituitary tumors is surgery
  • Trans-sphenoidal removal can allow removal from the brain.
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