Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging has been used to characterize different types of pituitary gland tumors and normal pituitary tissue. Freshly resected tumor tissue from surgery was prepared as thin cryosections and examined by FT-IR spectroscopic imaging. Tissue types were discriminated via k-means cluster analysis and a supervised classification algorithm based on linear discriminant analysis. Spectral classification allowed us to discriminate between tumor and non-tumor cells, as well as between tumor cells that produce human growth hormone (hGH+) and tumor cells that do not produce that hormone (hGH-). The spectral classification was compared and contrasted with a histological PAS and orange G stained image. It was further shown that hGH+ pituitary tumor cells show stronger amide bands than tumor cells that do not produce hGH. This study demonstrates that FT-IR spectroscopic imaging can not only potentially serve as a fast and objective approach for discriminating pituitary gland tumors from normal tissue, but that it can also detect hGH-producing tumor cells.