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Hurdle of giant pituitary adenoma in achieving total resection
J Korean Skull Base Soc 2023;18(2):113-122
Published online October 31, 2023
© 2023 Korean Skull Base Society.

Hyuk Jang1, Yeon Hee Im2, Dong-Hyun Kim2, Dong-Sup Chung1, Wan-Soo Yoon1

1Department of Neurosurgery, Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Incheon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Wan-Soo Yoon
Received August 31, 2023; Revised September 11, 2023; Accepted September 18, 2023.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Giant pituitary adenoma is a challenging disease in the neurosurgical field. Several therapeutic strategies have been performed depending on tumor characteristics and the surgeon’s experience during the last decades, but it is still difficult to achieve the gross total resection with good clinical outcome. Here, we present our clinical experience with giant pituitary adenomas (PAs) focusing on factors related to surgical outcome.
Materials and Methods: A total of 26 patients with giant PAs were collected. All clinical data, including preoperative symptom, visual and hormonal function, operation record, and radiologic imaging, were reviewed. Statistical analysis was used to identify the factors related with the extent of resection.
Results: The median age of patients was 53 years, and all patients showed impaired vision. Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery, staged operation, and open craniotomy were performed in 19, 5, and 2 patients, respectively. Fifteen patients received gross total resection, 14 patients received subtotal resection and 1 patient received partial resection. Postoperatively, visual function was improved in 14 patients, not changed in 6, and deteriorated in 4. Gross total resection was significantly related with the tumor size (45 mm), Knosp grade, ICA (internal carotid artery) encasement, and middle cranial fossa extension in the statistical analysis.
Conclusions: Despite of the limited experience for giant PAs, it still hard to achieve the gross total resection and good clinical outcome. We recommend identifying the tumor characteristics that make it difficult to complete total resection before surgery and consider other strategies, such as staged operation or adjuvant radiotherapy.
Keywords : Pituitary neoplasms, Neurosurgery, Therapeutics, Endoscopy, Craniotomy

October 2023, 18 (2)
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