Quality of Life After Endoscopic Surgical Management of Pituitary Adenomas

Neurosurgery 90:81–91, 2022

Patient-reported quality of life (QOL) is a vital metric for surgical success.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of surgery on QOL in the largest prospectively collected, longitudinal cohort of surgically managed pituitary adenomas.
METHODS: A consecutive surgical adenoma cohort (n=304) between late 2016 and mid- 2020 underwent a scheduled overall (Anterior Skull Base Questionnaire-35) and sinonasal- specific (Sinonasal Outcome Test-22) QOL assessment. Scores were stratified by adenoma subtype and analyzed for clinical predictors of QOL changes.
RESULTS: The average age was 53.8 ± 16 yr, and 53% of participants were female. 60.9% of adenomas were nonfunctioning while adrenocorticotropic hormone adenomas (16.4%), growth hormone adenomas (14.1%), and prolactinomas (5.9%) were the most prevalent secreting adenomas. Baseline overall QOL differed between tumor types (P = .006), with adrenocorticotropic hormone adenomas worse than growth hormone adenomas (P = .03) and nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPA) (P < .001). Sinonasal QOL worsened in the 3 wk after surgery but returned to baseline by 6 wk and beyond. Overall QOL worsened at 3 wk after surgery (P < .001) but significantly improved from baseline by 3 mo (P = .009) and beyond (P < .001). Emotional functioning improved soon after surgery, followed by performance and pain, and then, by 6 mo, physical function and vitality. Predictors of improved QOL were sellar/suprasellar lesions (P = .01), prolactinomas (P = .003), and NFPA (P = .04). Conversely, new postoperative hypopituitarism (P = .04) and larger adenoma volume (P = .04) predicted QOL worsening.
CONCLUSION: QOL is worsened after surgery at early time points. Prolactinomas and NFPA enjoy significant QOL improvements from surgery as early as 3 mo postoperatively. Other functional tumors may experience early benefits in younger patients without hypopituitarism and when isolated to the sellar/suprasellar region. These findings provide valuable information for counseling patients and setting expectations for surgery.