Pituitary Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment - Baltimore, Maryland

Mercy Medical Center - Baltimore, MD

Neurosurgeons of The Minimally Invasive Brain and Spine Center in Baltimore, Maryland, work with patients to diagnose pituitary tumors and determine the most effective treatment options. 

About the Condition

A pituitary tumor is a mass of abnormal cells in the pituitary gland. The tumor causes the pituitary gland to produce too many or too few hormones. The pituitary gland is a pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain. Pituitary tumors, also known as pituitary adenomas, can be classified as:

  • Macroadenomas – 1 centimeter or larger
  • Microadenomas – less than 1 centimeter

Most pituitary tumors are noncancerous and do not spread to other areas of the body, but can still cause symptoms. A few common types of pituitary tumors include:

  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone-secreting (ACTH) tumors
  • Growth hormone-secreting tumors
  • Prolactin-secreting tumors
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone-secreting tumors 
NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of pituitary tumors depend on the type of tumor. Common symptoms include:

  • Change in weight
  • Headache
  • Vision problems
  • Changes in body hair (loss or growth)
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Irregular menstrual periods

The complications of having too many hormones because of a pituitary tumor may include:

  • Cushing’s disease
  • Hyperthyroidism

If a pituitary tumor is expected, a doctor may use the following methods to help with diagnosis:

  • Urine and blood tests to check hormone levels
  • Vision test
  • MRI or CT scan of the brain
  • Evaluation with an endocrinologist 
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Pituitary tumor treatment depends on the type, size and location of the tumor. Early detection is essential to successfully treating a pituitary tumor.

Pituitary tumor treatment methods may include:

  • Medications -  typically regulate hormones and decrease tumor sizes
  • Observation - closely monitoring tumors that do not present symptoms
  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy