What Causes Pituitary Adenoma?

Reviewed on 1/4/2021

What Is Pituitary Adenoma?

A pituitary adenoma (a type of benign tumor) may be caused by a number of genetic conditions. It can lead the gland and surrounding tissue to produce harmfully high levels of hormones.
A pituitary adenoma (a type of benign tumor) may be caused by a number of genetic conditions. It can lead the gland and surrounding tissue to produce harmfully high levels of hormones.

Pituitary adenomas are benign (not cancerous) tumors that affect the pituitary gland. Even though they are benign, pituitary adenomas can cause health problems because they are close to the brain, they may invade nearby tissues (such as the skull or the sinuses), and many of them produce excess hormones.

Pituitary cancers (carcinomas) are rare.

What Are Symptoms of Pituitary Adenoma?

Symptoms of a pituitary adenoma may include: 

What Causes Pituitary Adenoma?

The cause of most pituitary adenomas is unknown.

Risk factors for pituitary adenomas include:

  • Family history
  • Genetic syndromes
    • Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type I (MEN1)
    • Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type IV (MEN4)
    • McCune-Albright syndrome
    • Carney complex

How Is Pituitary Adenoma Diagnosed?

In addition to a physical examination, pituitary adenomas are also diagnosed with the following tests: 

  • Vision testing to check for visual field deficits, such as loss of peripheral vision
  • Blood tests 
    • Growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) 
    • Cortisol and ACTH
    • Blood prolactin levels 
    • Luteinizing hormone (LH
    • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) 
    • Thyrotropin (TSH) and thyroid hormones
    • Pituitary hormone levels
    • Sodium levels 
    • Glucose levels
    • Osmolality (total salt concentration)
    • Venous blood sampling
  • Testing for diabetes insipidus
    • 24-hour urine test
    • Glucose suppression test
    • Water deprivation study
  • Imaging tests
  • Tests of pituitary tissue samples (biopsy)

What Is the Treatment for Pituitary Adenoma?

Treatment used for pituitary adenomas includes one or more of the following: 

SLIDESHOW

Skin Cancer Symptoms, Types, Images See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 1/4/2021
References
https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Pituitary-Gland-and-Pituitary-Tumors

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/pituitary-tumors/about.html