Journal of Korean Endocrine Society 1994;9(3):200-212.
Published online November 6, 2019.
Endocrinological and Morphological Characteristics of Clinically Nonfunctioning Pituitary Adenoma.
Jae Wha Jo, Moon Suk Nam, Hyun Chul Lee, Tae Seung Kim, Kyu Chang Lee, Hyun Joo Jung
Forth-nine patients with clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas were evaluated clinically, endocrinologically and morphologically in this study.The results obtained were as follows.1) The mean age was 47.1 years(range 23 to 76 years), and 22 were male(44.9%) and 27(55.1%) female.2) The major clinical manifestations of male patients were visual disturbance(72.7%), headache(54.5%), loss of libido(45.5%), but those of female visual disturbance(59.6%), headache(48.1%), amenorrhea(48.1%), loss of body hair(25.9%), and galactorrhea(22.2%).3) All were macroadenomas evaluated by CT scan, and in the male patients 16(72.7%) were grade III and 6(27.3%) grade IV by Hardy classification, and in the female patients 6(22.2%) were grade II, 12(44.4%) grade III, and 9(33.3%) grade IV.4) The elevation of serum prolactin were observed 7(31.8%) out of male, and 24(88.9%) of female.5) Combined stimulation test revealed that GH insufficiency was 89.6%, ACTH 58.9%, LH 58.7%, FSH 51.1 %, and TSH 50.0% and hormone insufficiency more than 4 pituitary hormone was 54.2%.6) Prolactin response to TRH decreased in 12(70.6%) of 17 patients with normal basal prolactin, and 19(76.0%) of 25 with elevated prolactin.7) Immunohistochemistry revealed that null cell adenoma was 57.1%, gonadotrope adenoma 26.5%, plurihormonal adenoma 8.0%, silent corticotrope adenoma 4.0%, thyrotrope adenoma(2.0%), and lactotrope adenoma(2.0%).8) The ultrastructural characteristics examined by electron-microscopy were similar despite of immunohistochemical differences.In summary, the prevalance of clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma was middle aged men and women, and their main symptoms were visual disturbance and headache. Hyperprolactinemia and pituitary hormone insufficiency more than 4 hormone were observed commonly. Most of them were null cell adenoma and gonadotrope adenoma examined by immunohistochemistry. Further study using modern techniques: cell culture, subunit-immunostaining. And Northern blot analysis of mRNA for pituitary hormone or subunit, will be needed to clarify null cell adenomas.
Key Words: Clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma, Immunohistochemistry

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