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Pituitary masses: the importance of a multidisciplinary approach

Warrick J Inder and Frank P Alford
Med J Aust 2007; 187 (9): 522-523.
Published online: 5 November 2007

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

  • Warrick J Inder1,2
  • Frank P Alford1,2

  • 1 Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Department of Endocrinology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

Warrick Inder has received speaker’s honoraria from Novartis Oncology and travel assistance from Novartis and Ipsen, both manufacturers of somatostatin analogues. He has also served on an advisory board for Pfizer regarding pegvisomant and human growth hormone.

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