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Hyperpituitarism Follow-up

  • Author: Alicia Diaz-Thomas, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD  more...
Updated: May 28, 2014

Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

After surgical treatment of Cushing disease, patients require daily hydrocortisone replacement therapy (8-10 mg/m2/d and education about stress dosing) from the time of surgery until their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal functions recover, which usually occurs 6-12 months after surgery.



The incidence of post-operative hypopituitarism is about 3% in patients with microadenomas and increases slightly with invasiveness of tumor.

Parasellar radiotherapy can lead to panhypopituitarism, optic nerve and optic chiasm injury, delayed radiation injury of the brain, or increased risk of a second brain tumor and epilation (loss of facial or scalp hair).



The postoperative PRL value, obtained 1-2 days after surgery, accurately predicts outcome. Undetectable level (< 2 µg/L) predicts cure with more than 90% probability, whereas higher values within the reference range indicate incomplete removal of the adenoma. Surgery has a good outcome, with a long-term surgical cure rate approaching 82% for all prolactinomas with very low morbidity and no mortality.


The criteria for cure of Cushing disease are undetectable plasma cortisol concentration in the morning (< 1 µg/mL) and corticotropin concentration of less than 5 pg/mL over 24 consecutive hours measured 4-7 days after surgery (at least 24 h after withdrawal of exogenous hydrocortisone or 48 h after exogenous prednisone). Initial remission rates (1-y) of 70-98% and long-term (10-y) success rates of 50-98% have been reported.

GH-secreting adenoma

The preferred primary treatment for the patient with acromegaly is surgery, with the surgical cure rate approaching 83% in the largest series.[5] Basal serum GH levels obtained immediately after surgery indicate the risk of tumor recurrence in children with GH-releasing adenomas. One recent series reported that immediate postoperative GH values of approximately 50 ng/mL were more likely to be associated with tumor recurrence than values near 15 ng/mL.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Alicia Diaz-Thomas, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Alicia Diaz-Thomas, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Tennessee Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Melanie Shim, MD 

Melanie Shim, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Diabetes Association, Endocrine Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

George P Chrousos, MD, FAAP, MACP, MACE, FRCP(London) Professor and Chair, First Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, Greece; UNESCO Chair on Adolescent Health Care, University of Athens, Greece

George P Chrousos, MD, FAAP, MACP, MACE, FRCP(London) is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Pediatric Society, American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Society for Pediatric Research, American College of Endocrinology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD Former Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, Arkansas Children's Hospital

Stephen Kemp, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Pediatric Society, Endocrine Society, Phi Beta Kappa, Southern Medical Association, Southern Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Thomas A Wilson, MD Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Chief and Program Director, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, The School of Medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center

Thomas A Wilson, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Robert J Ferry Jr, MD Le Bonheur Chair of Excellence in Endocrinology, Professor and Chief, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Robert J Ferry Jr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Diabetes Association, American Medical Association, Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, Society for Pediatric Research, and Texas Pediatric Society

Disclosure: Eli Lilly & Co Grant/research funds Investigator; MacroGenics, Inc Grant/research funds Investigator; Ipsen, SA (formerly Tercica, Inc) Grant/research funds Investigator; NovoNordisk SA Grant/research funds Investigator; Diamyd Grant/research funds Investigator; Bristol-Myers-Squibb Grant/research funds Other; Amylin Other; Pfizer Grant/research funds Other; Takeda Grant/research funds Other

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Pituitary macroadenoma.
A 16-year-old boy with Cushing disease.
On the left is an unaffected patient aged 12 years. On the right is the same patient aged 13 years after developing Cushing disease.
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