August 29, 2022
Pituitary tumors are proliferative lesions, generally benign in nature, that affect the gland called the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain, behind the nose. Like all tumors, its origin is associated with a genetic alteration in some cell group of the pituitary gland, which causes the cells to multiply abnormally, giving rise to the tumor. On this occasion, Dr. Marco Chipana, neurosurgeon at Clinica Ricardo Palma, will provide us with important information on the subject.
Are there causes or risk factors?
There is no defined cause or factor for the formation of these tumors.
What are the symptoms?
They are usually symptoms of hormonal changes, such as:
Symptoms may also occur due to visual impairment, such as: decreased visual field and accelerated visual deterioration.
How are they diagnosed?
The diagnosis is achieved with a magnetic resonance imaging of the sella turcica. However, many times its presumption is already being established with hormonal tests, endocrinological and ophthalmological evaluation, as well as visual campimetry. That is why, with some frequency, diagnoses are made by endocrinologists or ophthalmologists, to be referred later to the neurosurgeon.
How are they treated?
Treatment can start with pills that counteract hormonal changes and eventually shrink tumors. However, when these do not respond to drugs or generate other complications, surgical intervention is required, which is performed through the nostrils or through a craniotomy (cutting of the skull). In some cases, radiosurgery (a special form of radiation therapy) may be used.
How can it be prevented?
There is no preventive measure; however, it can be detected in early stages if you go to the doctor when the hormonal and/or visual symptoms begin, thus being able to achieve a good prognosis the earlier the diagnosis.
Dr. Marco Chipana
Neurosurgeon at Clínica Ricardo Palma