The Current Role Of Transcranial Surgery In The Management Of Pituitary Adenomas

Pituitary. 2013 Dec;16(4):419-34. doi: 10.1007/s11102-012-0439-z.

The current role of transcranial surgery in the management of pituitary adenomas.


Section of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, 632004, Tamil Nadu, India.


The aim of this study was to determine the factors influencing the use of a transcranial (TC) approach in pituitary adenomas and suggest a decision-making tree for the surgical strategy.

The data for 23 (4.6 %) patients who underwent TC surgery from amongst 494 pituitary adenomas were retrospectively analyzed. Eight factors on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that could predict a difficult transsphenoidal (TS) surgery were noted.

Adverse findings at TS surgery leading to a 2nd stage TC surgery were documented. Eighteen of the 23 cases were giant adenomas. Thirteen patients underwent TC surgery alone or as an initial approach when combined with TS while 10 underwent 2nd stage TC surgery following a TS approach. Most cases in the first group had 3 or more radiological factors in combination with a small sella. The 2nd group had higher sellar tumor volumes and fewer unfavourable radiological factors that led to the initial use of the TS approach.

A hard, fibrous consistency or a significant residue obscured from the surgeon’s view, and difficulty in hemostasis were additional factors prompting the use of a TC approach. Tumor excision ≥90 % could be achieved in 13 cases (56.5 %). Post-operative RT was administered in 12 patients. There were 2 deaths (8.7 %) and the major morbidity rate was 43 %. Despite advances in endoscopic surgery the TC approach may be required in 5 % of cases.

A study of the preoperative MRI for factors that predict difficulty with the TS approach might encourage the surgeon to consider a TC surgery either as an initial approach or combined with a TS surgery.

[PubMed – in process]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: