Pituitary adenoma or neuroendocrine tumour: the need for an integrated prognostic classification

Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2023 Nov;19(11):671-678. doi: 10.1038/s41574-023-00883-8. Epub 2023 Aug 17.


In the 2022 fifth edition of the WHO Classification of Endocrine Tumours and of Central Nervous System Tumours, pituitary adenomas are reclassified as neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). This change confers an oncology label to neoplasms that are overwhelmingly benign. A comprehensive clinical classification schema is required to guide prognosis, therapy and outcomes for all patients with pituitary adenomas. Pituitary adenomas and NETs exhibit some morphological and ultrastructural similarities. However, unlike NETs, pituitary adenomas are highly prevalent, yet indolent and rarely become malignant. This Perspective presents the outcomes of an interdisciplinary international workshop that addressed the merit and clinical implications of the classification change of pituitary adenoma to NET. Many non-histological factors provide mechanistic insight and influence the prognosis and treatment of pituitary adenoma. We recommend the development of a comprehensive classification that integrates clinical, genetic, biochemical, radiological, pathological and molecular information for all anterior pituitary neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Review