Complications of endoscopic surgery of the pituitary adenomas: analysis of 570 patients and review of the literature

BERKER M., Hazer D. B. , Yucel T., Gurlek A., Cila A., Aldur M. M. , ...More

PITUITARY, vol.15, no.3, pp.288-300, 2012 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11102-011-0368-2
  • Journal Name: PITUITARY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.288-300


Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery is emerging as a minimally invasive and maximally effective procedure for pituitary adenomas. In this report we analyzed the complications in 624 procedures of endonasal transsphenoidal endoscopic surgery in the treatment of 570 patients with pituitary adenomas. The leading author (MB) operated pituitary adenomas via pure endoscopic endonasal transsphenoidal surgery between January 2006 and August 2011 at the Hacettepe University, Department of Neurosurgery in Ankara. Complications were assessed in 624 surgical procedures under five groups; rhinological, CSF leaks, infection, vascular and endocrinologic complications. We observed a total of 76 complications (12.1%). Rhinological complications occurred in 8 patients (1.3%): 4 epistaxis (0.6%) and 4 hyposmia (0.6%). Postoperative CSF leaks occurred in 8 patients (1.3%), and infectious complications occurred in 8 patients: 3 cases of sphenoidal sinusitis (0.4%), 5 cases of meningitis (0.8%). Only 1 case of internal carotid aneurysm rupture during the opening of sellar floor (0.16%) was observed. Endocrinologic complications occurred in 51 (8.1%) patients: Anterior pituitary deficiency in 12 (1.9%), transient diabetes insipidus (DI) in 29 (4.6%), permanent DI in 3 (0.4%) and inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion syndrome occurred in 7 (1.1%). There was no mortality directly related to the surgical procedure. The complication rates observed in our study suggests that the endoscopic pituitary surgery is at least as safe as microscopic transphenoidal surgery. These rates were obtained with due experience and well-coordinated teamwork. To further improve these rates, new technological developments will be helpful.