Repeat endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery for residual or recurrent Cushing's disease: safety, feasibility, and success

Pituitary. 2024 Jun;27(3):259-268. doi: 10.1007/s11102-024-01396-x. Epub 2024 May 15.


Purpose: The success and outcomes of repeat endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETS) for residual or recurrent Cushing's disease (CD) are underreported in the literature. This study aims to address this gap by assessing the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of repeat ETS in these patients.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on 56 patients who underwent a total of 65 repeat ETS performed by a single neurosurgeon between January 2006 and December 2020. Data including demographic, clinical, laboratory, radiological, and operative details were collected from electronic medical records. Logistic regression was utilized to identify potential predictors associated with sustained remission.

Results: Among the cases, 40 (61.5%) had previously undergone microscopic surgery, while 25 (38.5%) had prior endoscopic procedures. Remission was achieved in 47 (83.9%) patients after the first repeat ETS, with an additional 9 (16.1%) achieving remission after the second repeat procedure. During an average follow-up period of 97.25 months, the recurrence rate post repeat surgery was 6.38%. Sustained remission was achieved in 48 patients (85.7%), with 44 after the first repeat ETS and 4 following the second repeat ETS. Complications included transient diabetes insipidus (DI) in 5 (7.6%) patients, permanent (DI) in 2 (3%) patients, and one case (1.5%) of panhypopituitarism. Three patients (4.6%) experienced rhinorrhea necessitating reoperation. A serum cortisol level > 5 µg/dL on postoperative day 1 was associated with a reduced likelihood of sustained remission.

Conclusion: Repeat ETS is a safe and effective treatment option for residual or recurrent CD with satisfactory remission rates and low rates of complications.

Keywords: ACTH; Corticotropinoma; Cushing’s disease; Endoscopic surgery; Pituitary adenoma; Recurrence; Reoperation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary ACTH Hypersecretion* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome