Incidence of pituitary adenomas in Northern Finland in 1992-2007

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):4268-75. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-0537. Epub 2010 Jun 9.


Context: Data on the incidence of pituitary adenomas (PAs) are scant and outdated. A population-based regional cohort with thorough case identification was used to evaluate the incidence of clinically detected PAs in the era of magnetic resonance imaging.

Objective: The objective of the study was to describe the age- and sex-specific incidence of all PA subgroups, with data on incidentally found PAs, pituitary apoplexies, and time trends.

Design, settings, and patients: This was a retrospective descriptive analysis of PA patients diagnosed during 1992-2007 in Northern Finland (NFi).

Main outcome measure: World Health Organization 2000-standardized incidence rates (SIRs) of PAs per 100,000 were measured.

Results and conclusion: The final cohort consisted of 355 PAs. The incidence rates of the Oulu University Hospital regional district were used as a reference to assess the applicability of our case finding over the rest of NFi. Incidence rates of all PA subgroups except microprolactinomas were statistically equal between these areas; thus, all presented SIRs are based on the NFi's cohort except Oulu University Hospital regional district-based prolactinomas and PAs overall. Overall SIR of PAs was higher (4.0 per 100,000) than in previous reports. Prolactinomas had the highest SIR: 2.2 per 100,000, followed by clinically nonfunctioning PAs (1.0) and GH-secreting (0.34), ACTH-secreting (0.17), and TSH-secreting (0.03) PAs. The gender-specific SIR was 2.2 per 100,000 in males and 5.9 per 100,000 in females. Pituitary apoplexy occurred as a presenting symptom in 11% of clinically nonfunctioning PA patients. The SIR of incidentally discovered PAs increased significantly from 1992-1999 to 2000-2007 (0.59 to 1.6, respectively; P < 0.01), which accounted for the perceived increasing trend in the overall SIR of PAs (3.8 to 4.2; P > 0.05).

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Apoplexy / epidemiology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prolactinoma / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult