Analysis of transnasal endoscopic versus transseptal microscopic approach for excision of pituitary tumors

Am J Rhinol. 2008 Nov-Dec;22(6):649-52. doi: 10.2500/ajr.2008.22.3246.


Background: The traditional method of pituitary tumor excision is transseptal microscopic excision; however, the transnasal transsphenoidal endoscopic approach has shown comparable results with the transseptal microscopic approach at some institutions. The objective of this study is to compare the two types of sellar and parasellar mass resection: transnasal transsphenoidal endoscopic excision versus transseptal microscopic excision.

Methods: A retrospective cohort analysis was performed on subjects who were referred to a tertiary hospital for surgical management of sellar or parasellar masses. The two groups of patients either underwent a transnasal endoscopic approach with endoscopic excision or transseptal microscopic excision. Demographics, tumor characteristics, operative details, length of hospital stay, intraoperative and postoperative complications, level of postoperative pain, recurrence rate, use of computed tomography (CT) image guidance, and length of follow-up were gathered. The data between the two groups were then compared.

Results: The analysis included 19 subjects who underwent endoscopic excision and 29 subjects who underwent transseptal microscopic excision. Null macroadenoma was the most common sellar mass followed by prolactinoma. There were no statistical differences in rates of perioperative complications and suprasellar or cavernous sinus invasion. Patients who underwent an endoscopic approach had shorter operative times, lower estimated blood loss, less lumbar drain use, less pain, and a shorter postoperative hospital stay (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The two approaches show similar intraoperative characteristics and immediate complication rates. Transnasal transsphenoidal endoscopic excision is a reasonable alternative to the traditional method of sellar mass excision.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypophysectomy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Septum / surgery*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sphenoid Sinus / surgery*
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome