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Neurosurgery. 2003 Nov;53(5):1086-91; discussion 1091-4.

Stereotactic radiosurgery as an alternative to fractionated radiotherapy for patients with recurrent or residual nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA. pollock.bruce@mayo.edu



To evaluate tumor control rates and complications after stereotactic radiosurgery for patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.


Between 1992 and 2000, 33 patients underwent radiosurgery for treatment of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. Thirty-two patients (97%) had undergone one or more previous tumor resections. Twenty-two patients (67%) had enlarging tumors before radiosurgery. The median tumor margin dose was 16 Gy (range, 12-20 Gy). The median follow-up period after radiosurgery was 43 months (range, 16-106 mo).


Tumor size decreased for 16 patients, remained unchanged for 16 patients, and increased for 1 patient. The actuarial tumor growth control rates at 2 and 5 years after radiosurgery were 97%. No patient demonstrated any decline in visual function. Five of 18 patients (28%) with anterior pituitary function before radiosurgery developed new deficits, at a median of 24 months after radiosurgery. The actuarial risks of developing new anterior pituitary deficits were 18 and 41% at 2 and 5 years, respectively. No patient developed diabetes insipidus.


Stereotactic radiosurgery safely provides a high tumor control rate for patients with recurrent or residual nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. However, despite encouraging early results, more long-term information is needed to determine whether radiosurgery is associated with lower risks of new endocrine deficits and radiation-induced neoplasms, compared with fractionated radiotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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