Why all patients with a pituitary mass need to be seen by an endocrinologist
For the average general practitioner, pituitary disorders are relatively uncommon. However, post-mortem and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies show that about 10% of the population may harbour a pituitary mass, although most are small, non-functioning microadenomas.1 Pituitary adenomas are the commonest intracranial neoplasm, making up about 10%–15% of such lesions.2 In most large series, prolactinomas are the most prevalent subtype, at between 40% and 50%; non-functioning adenomas account for about 30%, with other functioning adenomas (secreting growth hormone, causing acromegaly; secreting adrenocorticotropic hormone, causing Cushing’s disease; or secreting glycoprotein hormones, such as intact follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone) making up the remainder.3
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