Surgical results of large and giant pituitary adenomas with special consideration of ophthalmologic outcomes
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Objective: To analyze functioning and nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (PAs) >3 cm, with special emphasis on preoperative and postoperative visual functions. Methods: The cases consisted of 49 women and 54 men with mean age of 43.2 years (range 19-66 years). All cases had a macroadenoma >3 cm in diameter. The transsphenoidal approach was performed in 117 procedures, and the transcranial approach was performed in 8 procedures. Radical tumor excision was achieved in 50 of 103 patients. Postoperative evaluation was done in 88 patients. Preoperative and postoperative visual acuity, visual field, and ocular fundi and their relationship with the pattern and duration of the symptoms and the size of the tumor were evaluated. Results: Normalization of visual acuity was obtained in 71.5% of patients, improvement occurred in 13.6%, symptoms persisted in 13.6%, and symptoms worsened in 1%. Postoperative improvement of visual field defects (VFDs) was observed in 74.1% of patients, and visual impairment score improved postoperatively in 92% of patients. Patients operated on <6 months before the onset of vision loss had better and more sustained visual improvement. One patient died, and 15.5% of patients experienced surgery-related complications. Conclusions: This study shows that patients with severe visual impairment may have remarkable improvement if surgical decompression is done early. The transsphenoidal approach should be performed to correct the patient's visual impairment and to relieve the pressure on the optic apparatus caused by macroadenoma of any size. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.