Pituitary tumor

The history of pituitary pathology is a long one that dates back to biblical times, but the last 25 years have represented an era of “coming of age.” The role of the pituitary in health and disease was the subject of many studies over the last century. With the development of electron microscopy, immunoassays, and immunohistochemistry, the functional alterations associated with pituitary disease have been clarified. The additional information provided by molecular genetic studies has allowed progress in understanding the pathogenesis of pituitary disorders. Nevertheless, many questions remain to be answered. For example, pathologists cannot morphologically distinguish locally aggressive pituitary neuroendocrine tumors from carcinomas when tumor is confined to the sella. Sadly, basal cell carcinoma, the most common carcinoma of skin, usually causes less morbidity than pituitary neuroendocrine tumors, which occur in almost 20 % of the general population, can cause significant illness and even death, and yet are still classified as benign. The opportunity to increase awareness of the impact of these common lesions on quality of life is the current challenge for physicians and patients.

Ongoing multidisciplinary approaches to pituitary disease research will offer new insights into diseases arising from the pituitary 1).


Asa SL, Mete O. A History of Pituitary Pathology. Endocr Pathol. 2013 Dec 7.[Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24318770.
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