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A consecutive series of 35 clinically non-secretory pituitary adenomas treated surgically by the transethmodial approach is presented. Mean age at presentation was 60 years, with a male-to-female ratio of 2:1. These tumours present later than hormone secreting tumours: 90% were over 2 cm in diameter at operation. Seventy-one per cent of patients had impaired vision and 89% had hypopituitarism. Surgical treatment relieved or significantly improved visual fields in 79% of patients with impaired vision. Ninety-one per cent required permanent hormone replacement. Mean follow-up was for 4.4 years. Five tumours recurred, causing recurrent visual symptoms. No tumours recurred in those patients treated with postoperative radiotherapy, but follow-up in this group was only for a mean of 2.7 years.