Pituitary Microadenomas Follow-up

Updated: Nov 07, 2022
  • Author: Andre E Manov, MD, MSHM, FACP, CPE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Further Outpatient Care

The natural history for nonfunctioning microadenomas appears to be benign. [1, 2]  Follow-up MRI can be performed at 1, 3, and 5 years to assess for growth. For nonsecreting microadenomas, clinical follow-up is usually not needed unless clinical symptoms arise. If the tumor enlarges or the clinical picture dictates, full endocrine testing and potential therapy are justified.



The prognosis depends on the hormonal activity of the adenoma. [4] Most incidentalomas are inactive and do not cause morbidity, and a meta-analysis showed that microadenomas rarely enlarge (3.3 per 100 patient-years). [2]  Patient anxiety may result from the discovery of the microadenoma, and appropriate support may be needed.


Patient Education

The patient must be informed of the frequency of incidentalomas and the benign nature of those that do not enlarge or secrete excess hormones.