Clinical Characteristics of Silent Corticotrophic Adenomas and Creation of An Internet-accessible Database to Facilitate Their Multi-institutional Study

K. Michael Webb, Jeffrey J. Laurent, David O. Okonkwo, M. Beatriz Lopes, Mary Lee Vance, Edward R. Laws, Sandeep Kunwar, Mitchel S. Berger, Stephen J. Haines, Kalmon D. Post, Wesley King, Peter Mc L. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Silent corticotrophic adenomas (SCAs) of the pituitary gland present as clinically nonfunctioning sellar lesions, with normal serum and urine hormone testing results, but stain positively for adrenocorticotropic hormone in immunohistochemical analyses. These tumors are now more readily recognized, but determination of their natural history and responses to treatment is difficult because of their rarity. We report the diagnoses and outcomes for a series of patients with SCAs, and we describe the creation of an Internet-accessible database (www.hsc.virginia.edu/neuro/neurosurgery/pituitary.html) for collection of multi-institutional data on these lesions. METHODS: The medical records of patients with documented SCAs who were treated at the University of Virginia between 1991 and 2002 were reviewed. A comprehensive data collection form was then created and posted online. RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients with SCAs were identified, with a female predominance (70%, P = 0.04). Headache was the most common presenting symptom (70%), followed by visual field deficits (52%), acute or subacute pituitary apoplexy (33%), cavernous sinus syndrome (18.5%), and hypopituitarism (11.1 %). Extrasellar extension was noted for 92.6% of patients on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging scans. Transsphenoidal surgery was performed for all patients. Follow-up information was available for all patients (median, 60 mo; range, 3-254 mo). Postoperatively, 33% of patients received radiotherapy. Recurrence was noted for 37% of all patients and 41.7% of patients who did not receive postoperative radiotherapy. CONCLUSION: SCAs, although clinically nonfunctioning, may behave like aggressive adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting adenomas and therefore should receive vigorous follow-up monitoring, with consideration being given to the recommendation of radiotherapy in cases with residual tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1085
Number of pages10
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume53
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • Cushing's disease
  • Nonfunctioning
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Recurrence

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