ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P344

Pituitary adenomas: the reality of Braga

Filipe Mota, Catarina Matos, Miguel Afonso, Rui Almeida & Olinda Marques


Hospital de São Marcos, Braga, Portugal.


Introduction: There are limited data on the incidence and prevalence of pituitary adenomas (PA). Although classically considered rare, systematic assessments from autopsy and radiological studies have shown a prevalence of 17% in the general population.

Objective: We describe the epidemiologic of PA in Braga, the third most populous district of Portugal (860 000 inhabitants, 2673 km2), over the last 20 years.

Methods: We reviewed the clinical files and the laboratorial, radiological and pathological data of all the patients with pituitary tumors diagnosed in our Pituitary Reference Center. The prevalence and incidence were expressed as number of cases/million people and number of cases/million people per year, respectively.

Results: A total of 160 patients (123 female (F) and 62 male (M)) with prolactinomas – PR-(59 F; 16 M), non-functioning PA – NFPA-(18 F; 25 M), GH-secreting (25 F; 8 M), or corticotrope adenoma – CA-(8 F and 1 M), were characterized. The mean age at diagnosis was 41.7±17.3 years (range: 14–85 years) being for PR 32.7 years, for NFPA 53.2 years, for GH 45.6 years, and for corticotrope adenoma 49.3 years. The prevalence of PA was 186, being for prolactinomas 87.2, for NFPA 50.0, for GH-secreting 38.4, and for CA 10.5. In the last 10 years, the mean annual incidence of PA was 16.4, being for PA 7.1, for NFPA 4.5, for GH-secreting 3.7, and for CA 1. We identified 66.3% of macroadenomas, which corresponded to 46.7% of prolactinomas, 100% of non-functioning PA, 67% of GH-secreting, and 55.6% of corticotrope adenoma.

Conclusions: The frequency of different PA types, the age of presentation and female predominance verified in our district are similar to literature. The growing awareness and the diagnosis improvement may account for the apparent increase in PA incidence, over time.

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