Purpose: Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (ETSS) is a well-established treatment for patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs). Data on the rates of pituitary dysfunction and recovery in a large cohort of NFPA patients undergoing ETSS and the predictors of endocrine function before and after ETSS are scarce. This study is purposed to analyze the comprehensive changes in hormonal function and identify factors that predict recovery or worsening of hormonal axes following ETSS for NFPA. Methods: A retrospective review of 601 consecutive patients who underwent ETSS between 2010 and 2018 at one institution was performed. Recovery or development of new hypopituitarism was analyzed in 209 NFPA patients who underwent ETSS. Results: Patients with preoperative endocrine deficits (59.8%) in one or more pituitary axes had larger tumor volumes (P = 0.001) than those without preoperative deficits. Recovery of preoperative pituitary deficit occurred in all four axes, with overall mean recovery of 29.7%. The cortisol axis showed the highest recovery whereas the thyroid axis showed the lowest, with 1-year cumulative recovery rates of 44.3% and 6.1%, respectively. Postoperative hypopituitarism occurred overall in 17.2%, most frequently in the thyroid axis (24.3%, 27/111) and least frequently in the cortisol axis (9.7%, 16/165). Axis-specific predictors of post-operative recovery and deficiency were identified. Conclusions: Dynamic alterations in pituitary hormones were observed in a proportion of patients following ETSS in NFPA patients. Postoperative endocrine vulnerability, recovery, and factors that predicted recovery or loss of endocrine function depended on the hormonal system, necessitating an axis-specific surveillance strategy postoperatively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Endocrine status
  • Endoscopic endonasal surgery
  • Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery
  • Nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas


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