The Epidemiology of Pituitary Adenomas

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2020 Sep;49(3):347-355. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2020.04.002. Epub 2020 Jun 10.


Pituitary adenomas are usually nonmalignant, but have a heavy burden on patients and health care systems. Increased availability of MRI has led to an increase in incidentally found pituitary lesions and clinically relevant pituitary adenomas. Epidemiologic studies show that pituitary adenomas are increasing in incidence (between 3.9 and 7.4 cases per 100,000 per year) and prevalence (76 to 116 cases per 100,000 population) in the general population (approximately 1 case per 1000 of the general population). Most new cases diagnosed are prolactinomas and nonsecreting pituitary adenomas. Most clinically relevant pituitary adenomas occur in females, but pituitary adenomas are clinically heterogeneous.

Keywords: Acromegaly; Cushing’s disease; Epidemiology; Incidence; Nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma; Pituitary adenoma; Prevalence; Prolactinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis
  • Adenoma / epidemiology*
  • Adenoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prevalence