Early promising results for the endoscopic surgical treatment of Cushing's disease

BERKER M., Isikay I., Berker D., BAYRAKTAR M., Gurlek A.

NEUROSURGICAL REVIEW, vol.37, no.1, pp.105-113, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10143-013-0506-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.105-113
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


High levels of endogenous cortisol due to Cushing's disease cause significant mortality and morbidity. Treatment of Cushing's disease is challenging. For many years, transsphenoidal microsurgical resection of the adenoma has been the treatment of choice. However, recently, neuroendoscope has taken its place in the neurosurgeon's armamentarium, and the endoscopic transsphenoidal resection of pituitary tumors has become a familiar approach. Our aim was to present the results of pure endoscopic surgery in the treatment of corticotropinomas for comparison with the results of previous endoscopic and microsurgical series. We present a retrospective analysis of 90 patients with diagnosis of Cushing's disease who were operated between 2006 and 2012. Among 90 patients, a total of 81 (90.0 %) had a remission (28 out of 29 macroadenomas (96.6 %) and 53 out of 61 microadenoma patients (86.9 %)). Of note is that 66 out of 69 (95.7 %) primary patients (i.e., those who were operated in our center) and 15 out of 21 (71.4 %) patients previously operated in other centers reached a hypo/eucortisolemic state. A remission rate comparable with previous endoscopic series was achieved. In nine patients, it was not possible to achieve remission at all. On the other hand, only four of our cases (5.6 %) had a recurrence, and with reoperation, all of these patients entered a re-remission. To our knowledge, our series is the largest series studying endoscopically operated adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting adenomas. Our results suggest that the endoscopic approach has opened a new avenue in the treatment of Cushing's disease, previously a therapeutic challenge for both the clinician and the neurosurgeon. Endoscopic approach in the treatment of Cushing's disease is clearly better for patients because of its low morbidity rates and short duration of hospital stay. On the other hand, long-term follow-up of our patients will show whether these favorable observations will persist.