Clinicopathological Correlations in Pituitary Adenomas

Ozgur Mete, Sylvia L. Asa

Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2012.00599.x


corticotroph adenoma;gonadotroph adenoma;immunohistochemistry;lactotroph adenoma;pituitary adenoma;somatotroph adenoma;thyrotroph adenoma;transcription factors


Pituitary adenomas are common neuroendocrine neoplasms arising from adenohypophysial cells. Recent progress in our understanding of pituitary tumorigenesis as well as pathways involved in molecular cytodifferentiation of the adenohypophysis has impacted on the classification of pituitary adenomas.

The detailed comprehensive classification of pituitary adenomas is now well recognized to reflect specific clinical features and genetic changes that predict targeted treatments, as well as prognostic information for patients with pituitary adenomas.

Therefore, the clinical responsibility of pathologists is not only limited to the distinction of pituitary adenomas from other sellar lesions, but also to provide a comprehensive subtype classification using appropriate ancillary tools. In this article, we highlight an approach to clinical diagnosis and pitfalls in the classification of these common neoplasms.

View Full Article (HTML) Get PDF (3211K)

Medical management of Cushing’s disease: what is the future?

Fleseriu M, Petersenn S.


Departments of Medicine and Neurological Surgery, Northwest Pituitary Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA.


Cushing’s disease (CD) is caused by a corticotroph, adrenocorticotropic-hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenoma resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Transsphenoidal surgery is the initial treatment of choice in almost all cases.

Remission rates for microadenomas are good at 65-90 % (with an experienced neurosurgeon) but remission rates are much lower for macroadenomas. However, even after postoperative remission, recurrence rates are high and can be seen up to decades after an initial diagnosis. Repeat surgery or radiation can be useful in these cases, although both have clear limitations with respect to efficacy and/or side effects.

Hence, there is a clear unmet need for an effective medical treatment. Currently, most drugs act by inhibiting steroidogenesis in the adrenal glands. Most is known about the effects of ketoconazole and metyrapone. While effective, access to ketoconazole and metyrapone is limited in many countries, experience with long-term use is limited, and side effects can be significant. Recent studies have suggested a role for a pituitary-directed therapy with new multireceptor ligand somatostatin analogs (e.g., pasireotide, recently approved in Europe for treatment of CD), second-generation dopamine agonists, or a combination of both.

Mifepristone (a glucocorticoid receptor antagonist) is another promising drug, recently approved by the FDA for treatment of hyperglycemia associated with Cushing’s syndrome. We review available medical treatments for CD with a focus on the two most recent compounds referenced above.

Our aim is to expand awareness of current research, and the possibilities afforded by available medical treatments for this mesmerizing, but often frightful disease.

PMID: 22674211 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


%d bloggers like this: