Pituitary abscess following transsphenoidal surgery: the experience of 12 cases from a single institution.Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2014 Sep; 124:66-71.CN
To explore possible reasons for the incidence of a pituitary abscess following transsphenoidal surgery and determine the most effective treatment.
A series of 12 patients who had undergone transsphenoidal surgery in other hospitals before being treated at Peking Union Medical College Hospital were reviewed. The presence of a pituitary abscess was confirmed when pus was intraoperatively observed within the sella turcica. All patients were treated with debridement of the abscess, nine among whom through a transsphenoidal approach and the other three via a craniotomy, followed by antibiotic treatment and hormone replacement therapy. The mean follow-up time was 27.0 months (range from 3.0 to 79.0 months).
Headache (92%), panhypopituitarism (58%) and visual disturbance (50%) were the most common clinical indicators of a pituitary abscess. Imaging tests demonstrated a pituitary mass in all patients, with seven (58%) manifested with typical magnetic resonance features of an abscess. Ten patients (83%) were correctly diagnosed preoperatively. During surgical exploration, six presented with severe inflammation or an abscess within the sphenoidal sinus. Causative organisms were identified in five patients (42%). After surgical and antibiotic therapies, all patients fully recovered except for two presenting with severe visual impairment. Six patients (50%) required hormone replacement therapy.
Retrograde infection from the sphenoid sinus may be a vital mechanism underlying the formation of a pituitary abscess following transsphenoidal surgery. Debridement of the abscess through surgical approaches combined with antibiotic treatment has been found to yield positive outcomes.