Clinical presentation of pituitary adenomas is influenced by age of patients and stage of the tumour at diagnosis. In this study we intended to analyse the features of pituitary adenomas in old patients.
Subjects and methods: It is a retro- and prospective study concerning 37 patients (19F/18M) aged 60 years and over harbouring a pituitary adenoma, these patients were divided into two groups:
Group 1 (G1): Patients with invasive and/or giant tumours which means tumours ≥40 mm or tumours invading the cavernous sinuses
Group 2 (G2): Patients with tumours <40 mm without cavernous sinuses involvement
Clinical presentation, hormonal, radiological and ophthalmological finding were recorded.
Results: Thirty-eight percent (N=14) of the tumours were giants and/or invasive, the adenoma size was 40.53±11.38 mm in G1 (with involvement of cavernous sinuses in 6 cases) and 22.7±7.96 mm in G2, patients of G1 were older than those of G2: 70.71±6.70 years vs 66.17±5.41 years. Neuro-ophthalmological manifestations were appealing in 77% in G1 and 61% in G2; the tumour was incidentally discovered in 21% in G2 and in 7% in G1. No secreting adenomas were the more prevalent in the two groups (57% in G1 and 65% in G2), GH secreting adenomas were recorded only in G2. Pituitary deficiency wasnt different between the two groups (61% in G1 vs 60% in G2). Severe visual loss was more prevalent in G1 than G2: 71% vs 33%.
Conclusion: Pituitary adenomas in the elderly are predominantly no secreting, frequently diagnosed lately at an advanced stage of visual loss and pituitary deficiency.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.