Long-term Outcomes After Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for Patients With a Nonfunctioning Pituitary Adenoma

Neurosurgery 69:284–293, 2011 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821bc44e

Nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas recur after microsurgery. Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been used to treat recurrent adenomas.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term rates of tumor control and development of hypopituitarism in patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas after GKRS.

METHODS: Forty-eight patients with a nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma treated between 1991 and 2004 at the University of Virginia were studied. All patients had more than 4 years of clinical and imaging follow-up.

RESULTS: All patients underwent follow-up imaging and endocrine evaluations, with a duration ranging from 50 to 215 months (median, 80.5 months) and 57 to 201 months (median, 95 months), respectively. New hormone deficiency after GKRS occurred in 19 of 48 patients (39%). Corticotropin/cortisol deficiency developed in 8% of patients, thyroid hormone deficiency in 20.8%, gonadotropin deficiency in 4.2%, growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 in 16.7%, and diabetes insipidus in 2%. Panhypopituitarism including diabetes insipidus developed in 1 patient. Overall, control of tumor volume was 83%. Tumor volume decreased in 36 patients (75%), increased in 8 patients (17%), and was unchanged in 4 patients (8%). Tumor volumes greater than 5 mL at the time of GKRS were associated with a significantly greater rate of growth (P = .003) compared with an adenoma with a volume of 5 mL or less.

CONCLUSION: GKRS resulted in a high and durable rate of tumor control in patients with a nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma. A higher preoperative tumor volume was associated with an increased rate of tumor growth.