Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2019;8(4):239-244. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2019.01083)

Clinical investigation of pituitary incidentalomas: A two-center study.

Ishii K, Abe I, Kameda W, Sugimoto K, Morinaga Y, Ito M, Takashi Y, Abe M, Hada Y, Takase K, Fujii H, Ohishi H, Ochi K, Yamao Y, Minezaki M, Kudo T, Higashi T, Sonoda Y, Ishizawa K, Kobayashi K


Recent advances in imaging technology resulted in an increase in pituitary incidentalomas (PIs) detection. PIs were reported to be present in 1.6% persons with magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. Whereas, there were few studies about PIs with detailed investigation. We aimed to investigate the clinical and endocrinological characteristics of PIs. We evaluated 65 patients diagnosed with PIs who underwent detailed clinical and endocrinological evaluations. Of the 65 patients, 33 (50.8%) had non-functional pituitary adenomas (NFPAs), 11 (16.9%) had Rathke's cleft cysts (RCCs), 7 (10.8%) had functional pituitary adenomas (FPAs), 6 (9.2%) had benign extra-pituitary tumors (BEPTs), and 8 (12.3%) had malignant tumors (MTs). Compared with patients with NFPAs, those with MTs were significantly younger and had a significantly lower body mass index, lower prevalence of hypertension, and lower prevalence of dyslipidemia. Patients with MTs had significantly higher prevalence of central diabetes insipidus than those with NFPAs. In addition, patients with NFPAs had significantly higher prevalence of pituitary apoplexy than those with FPAs, BEPTs, and MTs. In conclusion, our study demonstrated clinical and endocrinological characteristics of PIs. Highly detailed clinical and endocrinological investigations should be performed for PIs. In addition, MTs should be considered in the differential diagnosis for young and lean patients with central diabetes insipidus.

KEYWORDS: Pituitary incidentaloma, hormonal deficiency, pituitary apoplexy

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