Background: Pituitary adenomas display an array of hormonal and proliferative activity. Once primarily classified according to size (microadenomas, < 1 cm; macroadenomas, > or = 1 cm), these tumors are now further classified according to immunohistochemistry and functional status. With these additional classifications in mind, the goals of the current study were to determine the prevalence of pituitary adenomas and to explore the clinical relevance of the findings.
Methods: The authors conducted a metaanalysis of all existing English-language articles in MEDLINE. They used the search string (pituitary adenoma or pituitary tumor) and prevalence and selected relevant autopsy and imaging evaluation studies for inclusion.
Results: The authors found an overall estimated prevalence of pituitary adenomas of 16.7% (14.4% in autopsy studies and 22.5% in radiologic studies).
Conclusions: Given the high frequency of pituitary adenomas and their potential for causing clinical pathologies, the findings of the current study suggest that early diagnosis and treatment of pituitary adenomas should have far-reaching benefits.