Experts offer Recommendations for Management of Pituitary Tumors

 

An international panel reached consensus for pre- and postoperative endocrine testing to manage adults undergoing transsphenoidal surgery, including measurement of prolactin and insulin-like growth factor I levels for all pituitary tumors.

In adults and children, transsphenoidal surgery represents the cornerstone of management for most large or functioning sellar lesions with the exception of prolactinomas, Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, an Endocrine Today Editorial Board Member, professor of medicine and neurological surgery and director of the Pituitary Center at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and colleagues wrote in Pituitary. Endocrine evaluation and management are an essential part of perioperative care; however, the details of endocrine assessment and care are not universally agreed on.

“Perioperative management of patients undergoing pituitary surgery is fascinating, as it involves many specialties — endocrinology, neurosurgery and ENT — and patients also get discharged very quickly in some countries, such as the United States,” Fleseriu told Healio. “At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Physician Education Committee of the Pituitary Society, comprised of members from four continents, met to discuss a more streamlined process for workup before and after surgery for patients undergoing pituitary surgery. We have noticed big differences in management, but also some common themes, and decided to have a formal evaluation using a Delphi consensus and a much larger representation, with members from five continents.”

Building consensus

The task force behind the project, co-led by Nicholas A. Tritos, MD, DSc, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Pouneh K. Fazeli, MD, MPH, director of the neuroendocrinology unit and associate professor of medicine at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, created 35 questions and invited 55 pituitary endocrinologists to answer the questions in two Delphi rounds. Participants rated their extent of agreement with statements pertaining to perioperative endocrine evaluation and management, using a Likert-type scale.

Strong consensus, defined as at least 80% of panelists rating their agreement as 6 to 7 on a scale from 1 to 7, was achieved for 24 of 35 items. Less strict agreement, defined as ratings of 5 to 7, was reached for 31 of 35 items.

There were several significant findings, Fleseriu said.

Despite uncertainty in previous guidelines, panelists reached consensus to measure serum IGF-I for all patients with pituitary tumors preoperatively to ensure proper diagnosis of growth hormone excess, Fleseriu said.

“This is important because patients with GH-secreting adenomas do not always present with classic manifestations of acromegaly, require additional evaluation for comorbidities and postoperatively may benefit from further medical therapy or other adjuvant treatment,” Fleseriu said.

Panelists also expressed agreement on preoperative administration of glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone replacement for patients with diagnosed deficiencies, as well as perioperative use of stress-dose glucocorticoid coverage for patients with known or suspected hypoadrenalism, but not for all patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery. Panelists also agreed on postoperative monitoring of serum sodium and cortisol and the use of desmopressin on-demand, required to control hypernatremia and/or polyuria, for patients with central diabetes insipidus.

“Agreement was achieved on postoperative monitoring of endocrine function, including morning serum cortisol in patients with Cushing’s disease, as well as serum IGF-I in patients with acromegaly,” Fleseriu said.

More research needed

Panelists did not reach consensus for a minority of items, representing areas where further research is needed, including measuring serum prolactin in dilution for all patients with large macroadenomas, Fleseriu said.

“Prolactin immunoassays can be susceptible to the ‘hook effect’ artifact, which may lead to substantial underreporting of prolactin values in sera containing very high prolactin concentrations, thus having important implications for patient management,” Fleseriu said. “Newer automated immunoassay platforms are likely to detect the hook effect; however, this may not be the case in older assays, which are still in use in many countries or laboratories. Therefore, especially when surgery is performed at an institution where automated assays are available to detect hook effect, yet patient workup has been carried out at an outside laboratory, additional lab workup might be needed. We envision this scenario can occur more often with the widespread use of telemedicine and endocrine testing being carried out at a distant laboratory.”

Additionally, there was a lack of consensus regarding preoperative testing for hypercortisolism in all patients with an apparently nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma. “This might reflect concern about false-positive results of endocrine testing in some individuals,” Fleseriu said. “On the other hand, published data suggest that some patients with Cushing’s disease may lack typical symptoms and signs and can present with an incidentally found sellar mass.”

Panelists did not reach consensus on items concerning preoperative medical therapy for patients with acromegaly or Cushing’s disease, potentially reflecting differences in practice among international centers, the clinical heterogeneity of patient populations, and ongoing uncertainties regarding the benefits of preoperative medical therapy.

“Single-center clinical experience suggests that preoperative medical therapy may be helpful in patients with Cushing’s disease and severe acute psychiatric illness or sepsis,” Fleseriu said. “Studies on acromegaly have very discordant results.

“With this study — the largest international Delphi consensus on perioperative management of patients undergoing pituitary surgery — we identified key steps in protocols which are ready to be implemented in most centers, especially for preoperative evaluation, sodium abnormalities and glucocorticoids administration postop,” Fleseriu said. “We have also highlighted several areas where need for more research is needed to optimize patients’ outcomes.”

For more information:

Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, can be reached at fleseriu@ohsu.edu; Twitter: @MariaFleseriu.

From https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20210810/experts-offer-recommendations-for-management-of-pituitary-tumors

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