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Skull base surgery. 1997; 7(2): 89–93.
PMCID: PMC1656593

TSH-Secreting Pituitary Adenoma

Current Management and Review


The neurosurgical literature contains little information about the current management of patients with thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)-secreting pituitary adenomas or about the usefulness of the somatostatin analogue octreotide in such cases. While TSH-secreting pituitary adenomas are rare, our review and illustrative case demonstrate the effectiveness of pretreating patients with octreotide therapy not only to reduce tumor size prior to surgical resection but also to increase the possibility of clinical remission.

A 52-year-old male presented with signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism and elevated TSH, thyroxine, and triiodothyronine. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a pituitary macroadenoma with extension into the suprasellar cistern. The patient was treated with octreotide for 6 months prior to surgery. Approximately 3 months after initiation of octreotide therapy, the patient exhibited excellent biochemical and clinical response. Tumor shrinkage of nearly 50% was associated with resolution of suprasellar extension and optic nerve compression. Subsequent transsphenoidal surgery for resection of residual adenoma was followed by symptomatic and hormonal remission without the need for reinstitution of octreotide therapy.

Pretreatment with octreotide for TSH-secreting pituitary adenomas has a beneficial effect on disease symptoms and reduces tumor mass. We suggest that patients with these rare tumors can be managed with a combination of octreotide therapy and subsequent surgical removal of residual tumor. Although this combination treatment helps to facilitate clinical remission, only short-term follow-up has been reported and thus the optimal management of these patients remains to be determined.

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Selected References

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