Radiosurgery and the prevention of regrowth of incompletely removed nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas

J Neurosurg. 2005 Jan;102 Suppl:71-4. doi: 10.3171/jns.2005.102.s_supplement.0071.


Object: The authors studied the efficacy of gamma knife radiosurgery (GKS) in the prevention of regrowth of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NPA).

Methods: One hundred nineteen patients were included in this study and were divided into two groups. All patients had undergone surgery in our department and recurrent or residual adenoma was demonstrated on postoperative MR imaging. Group A consisted of 68 patients who were followed without additional treatment. Group B was composed of 51 patients who received GKS within 1 year after microsurgery. There was no significant demographic difference between the two groups. In Group B the mean margin dose was 16.5 +/- 0.3 Gy (range 13-21 Gy). Fifty one and one tenth percent of patients in Group A were recurrence free at 5 years and 89.8% in Group B (p < 0.001). In Group B patients, tumor volume decreased from a baseline value of 2.4 +/- 0.2 cm3 to 1.6 +/- 0.2 cm3 at last follow up (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that GKS is effective in controlling growth of residual NPA for at least 5 years following initial maximal surgical debulking compared with no radiation therapy. Thus, GKS is recommended after microsurgery when visible tumor can be detected on imaging studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adenoma / prevention & control*
  • Adenoma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Radiosurgery / instrumentation*