Pituitary apoplexy – bespoke patient management allows good clinical outcome

Sumithra Giritharan, Kanna Gnanalingham, Tara Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the clinical presentation, management and outcome of pituitary apoplexy from a single centre and retrospectively apply the Pituitary Apoplexy Score (PAS). Design: Retrospective review of patients presenting with classical pituitary apoplexy to a single neurosurgical centre in the Greater Manchester region. Results: A total of 31 cases with classical pituitary apoplexy were identified between 2005 and 2014. The mean age at presentation was 55 years, and there were 19 men. In only one patient was there prior knowledge of a pituitary adenoma. Eleven (35%) patients were managed conservatively and 20 (65%) patients managed surgically. Emergency surgery was carried out in 11 patients. At presentation, visual symptoms were present in a higher proportion of patients in the surgical group (90%) compared to the conservatively managed group (64%). At final follow-up, visual recovery was apparent in most patients in both the surgical (100%) and conservatively (86%) managed groups. The proportion of patients with hypopituitarism was high in both the surgical (86%) and conservative (73%) groups at presentation, and this failed to improve at final follow-up (90% vs 73%, respectively). The median PAS scores were higher in the surgical (PAS 2), compared to the conservatively managed group (PAS 0). Conclusion: In pituitary apoplexy patients managed conservatively or surgically, there is good recovery of visual symptoms but not endocrine function. Patients should be managed on a case-by-case basis based on the severity of symptoms at presentation, progression of disease and surgical expertise available. Further prospective studies using the PAS are required to determine its usefulness in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number3
Early online date1 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


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