What is pituitary incidentaloma?

Pituitary lesions (such as pituitary adenomas) that are found as an incidental finding on brain imaging are called pituitary incidentalomas.


How are pituitary incidentalomas diagnosed?

The diagnosis of pituitary incidentalomas requires physical examination, history, neuroimaging (e.g. MRI) and hormonal testing to determine which hormone is being over- or under-secreted, and often specialized dynamic endocrine tests are required.


What is the treatment for pituitary incidentalomas?

The treatment of pituitary incidentalomas depends on whether they are functional, their size, how fast they grow, whether they cause mass effect on nearby structures, age and comorbidities and the patient’s preference. Their treatment as well as their diagnosis is determined by a multidisciplinary team, including an endocrinologist, neurosurgeon, radiologist, oncologist, pathologist and requires a specialized centre. It usually includes:

  • endoscopic transsphenoidal resection and/or craniotomy
  • radiotherapy
  • medical treatment
  • hormone replacement
  • watch and wait