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Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2005 May;5(3):178-85.

Update on the medical management of pituitary adenomas.

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Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195-6426, USA.


The medical treatment of pituitary adenomas has changed significantly over the past decade. Pharmacologic therapy for prolactinomas in the form of dopamine agonists has been available since the 1970s, and somatostatin analogues for treatment of growth hormone (GH)-secreting adenomas were introduced in the 1980s. However, the recent introduction of long-acting forms of these agents has markedly improved efficacy. Furthermore, long-acting somatostatin analogues also have utility in treating thyrotropin adenomas and a subset of adrenocorticotroph tumors. Limited clinical studies with long-acting dopamine agonists suggest that a subset of patients with GH, adrenocorticotroph, and gonadotropin/nonsecreting adenomas may also benefit from therapy with these agents. The introduction of a GH receptor antagonist in the 1990s has added to the pharmacologic armamentarium for treatment of acromegaly. In parallel with improved medical therapy, hormonal assays for assessing tumor activity have improved in sensitivity, necessitating new standards for treatment optimization. This article highlights some of these evolving new ideas and approaches to the pharmacologic management of pituitary adenomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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