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Pituitary adenomas in older adults (≥ 65 years): 90-day outcomes and readmissions: a 10-year endoscopic endonasal surgical experience

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Pituitary adenomas in older adults (≥ 65 years): 90-day outcomes and readmissions: a 10-year endoscopic endonasal surgical experience

Thakur JD, Corlin A, Mallari RJ, Huang W, Eisenberg A, Sivakumar W, Krauss H, Griffiths C, Rettinger S, Cohan P, Barkhoudarian G, Araque KA, Kelly D. Pituitary. 2020 Sep 16.

Longer lifespan and newer imaging protocols have led to more older adults being diagnosed with pituitary adenomas. Herein, we describe outcomes of patients ≥ 65 years undergoing endoscopic adenoma removal. To address selection criteria, we also assess a conservatively managed cohort.

A retrospective analysis of 90-day outcomes of patients undergoing endoscopic pituitary adenomectomy from 2010 to 2019 by a neurosurgical/ENT team was performed. Tumor subtype, cavernous sinus invasion, extent of resection/early remission, endocrinology outcomes, complications, re-operations and readmissions were analyzed. A comparator cohort ≥ 65 years undergoing clinical surveillance without surgery was also analyzed.

Of 468 patients operated on for pituitary adenoma, 123 (26%) were ≥ 65 years (range 65–93 years); 106 (86.2%) had endocrine-inactive adenomas; 18 (14.6%) had prior surgery. Of 106 patients with endocrine-inactive adenomas, GTR was achieved in 70/106 (66%). Of 17 patients with endocrine-active adenomas, early biochemical remission was: Cushing’s 6/8; acromegaly 1/4; prolactinomas 1/5. Gland function recovery occurred in 28/58 (48.3%) patients with various degrees of preoperative hypopituitarism. New anterior hypopituitarism occurred in 3/110 (2.4%) patients; permanent DI in none. Major complications in 123 patients were: CSF leak 2 (1.6%), meningitis 1 (0.8%), vision decline 1 (0.8%). There were no vascular injuries, operative hematomas, anosmia, deaths, MIs, or thromboembolic events. Median length of stay was 2 days. Readmissions occurred in 14/123 (11.3%) patients, 57% for delayed hyponatremia. Intra-cohort analysis by age (65–69, 70–74, 75–79,  ≥ 80 years) revealed no outcome differences. Cavernous sinus invasion (OR 7.7, CI 1.37–44.8; p = 0.02) and redo-surgery (OR 8.5, CI 1.7–42.8; p = 0.009) were negative predictors for GTR/NTR. Of 105 patients evaluated for presumed pituitary adenoma beginning in 2015, 72 (69%) underwent surgery, 8 (7%) had prolactinomas treated with cabergoline and 25 (24%) continue clinical surveillance without surgery, including two on new hormone replacement.

This study suggests that elderly patients carefully selected for endoscopic adenoma removal can have excellent short-term outcomes including high resection rates, low complication rates and short length of stay. Our experience supports a multidisciplinary approach and the concept of pituitary centers of excellence. Based on our observations, approximately 25% of elderly patients with pituitary adenomas referred for possible surgery can be monitored closely without surgery.

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