Pituitary Microadenomas Follow-up

Updated: Nov 07, 2022
  • Author: Andre E Manov, MD, MSHM, FACP, CPE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

The natural history for nonfunctioning microadenomas appears to be benign. [1, 2]  Follow-up MRI can be performed at 1, 3, and 5 years to assess for growth. For nonsecreting microadenomas, clinical follow-up is usually not needed unless clinical symptoms arise. If the tumor enlarges or the clinical picture dictates, full endocrine testing and potential therapy are justified.

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Prognosis

The prognosis depends on the hormonal activity of the adenoma. [4] Most incidentalomas are inactive and do not cause morbidity, and a meta-analysis showed that microadenomas rarely enlarge (3.3 per 100 patient-years). [2]  Patient anxiety may result from the discovery of the microadenoma, and appropriate support may be needed.

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Patient Education

The patient must be informed of the frequency of incidentalomas and the benign nature of those that do not enlarge or secrete excess hormones.

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