Neurosurgery 71:916–926, 2012
Pituitary tumors and associated neuroendocrine disorders pose significant challenges in diagnostic and therapeutic management. Optimal care of the “pituitary patient” is best provided in a multidisciplinary collaborative environment that includes not only experienced pituitary practitioners in neurosurgery and endocrinology, but also in otorhinolaryngological surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, neuro-ophthalmology, diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology, and neuropathology.
We provide the background and rationale for recognizing pituitary centers of excellence and suggest a voluntary verification process, similar to that used by the American College of Surgeons for Trauma Center verification. We propose that pituitary centers of excellence should fulfill 3 key missions: (1) provide comprehensive care and support to patients with pituitary disorders; (2) provide residency training, fellowship training, and/or continuing medical education in the management of pituitary and neuroendocrine disease; and (3) contribute to research in pituitary disorders.
As this is a preliminary proposal, we recognize several issues that warrant further consideration including center and surgeon practice volume as well as oversight of the verification process.