What are the possible complications of prolactinomas treatments?

Updated: Mar 25, 2018
  • Author: Venkatesh Babu Segu, MD, MBBS, DM; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Complications of the treatment of prolactinoma

  • No long-term complications have been reported with medical treatment.

  • Adverse effects of treatment are discussed in Medical Care and Medication.

Complications of pituitary surgery

  • The mortality rate for transsphenoidal surgery is 0.27% for microadenomas and 0.86% for macroadenomas. The rate is higher in patients undergoing transcranial surgery and in patients who have been previously been treated with other modalities (~2.5%).

  • Morbidity includes cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea, diabetes insipidus (transient or permanent), meningitis, stroke, visual disturbances, and hypopituitarism (cumulative incidence rate of 2% for microadenomas and up to 14% for macroadenomas).

Complications of radiation treatment

  • The major complication is hypopituitarism. It occurs in 33-70% of patients; the incidence increases with the length of follow-up.

  • Less common complications include damage to the optic nerve/chiasm, seizures, vascular injury, and CNS malignancy.

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