Young age has been reported as a negative prognostic factor for pituitary adenomas (PAs). They are very uncommon in children and adolescents; therefore, surgical outcomes are poorly described.
To report results of microsurgical transsphenoidal approach (MTSA) in pediatric PAs.
The study retrospectively analyzed 3040 PAs treated in our institute, according to the adenoma subtype and then divided into pediatric (≤18 yr) and adult groups (>18 yr). The average follow-up after surgery was 58 mo (n = 2906).
In the pediatric group, the majority of adenomas were hormone-secreting (89.5%) with a female sex prevalence (78%) in prolactinomas and nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs); the maximum diameter of growth hormone (GH)-secreting adenomas was greater (28.1 ± 4.1 mm) than in adults (18 ± 0.3 mm, P = .002). Surgical remission rate at 6 mo was similar in both groups for all adenoma subtypes: 72.1% and 76% in pediatric and adult Cushing's disease, 69.3% and 59.3% in prolactinomas, 55.6% and 61% in gigantism or acromegaly, 55.6% and 61.5% in NFPAs. Recurrences after remission occurred more frequently in pediatric GH-secreting adenomas compared to adults (40.0% vs 5.3%, P = .028) despite similar follow-up (38 ± 17 and 48.1 ± 2.2 mo, P = .7). Mortality was zero in the pediatric and 0.2% in the adult group (P = .7); major morbidity was 2.4% and 2.2%, respectively (P = .8).
MTSA was safe and effective in children and adolescents as in adults, with the only exception of higher recurrence rate in pediatric GH-secreting adenomas. No complications related to young age appeared.