Transcranial surgery(TCS) for pituitary adenoma(PA) is mostly reserved for lesions with widespread extensions. We sought to analyse the intraoperative challenges, morbidity and the factors associated with morbidity of transcranial approaches, in a large series from a tertiary neurosurgical institute.
We retrospectively evaluated 137 patients who underwent TCS for PA in our institute. The details of their clinical features, imaging, operative and peri-operative events and complications were collected and analysed. The factors associated with morbidity were evaluated.
The mean age of the cohort was 40.86 ± 13.35 years. 21 (15.3%) patients developed significant post-operative hematoma, out of which 7 patients (5.1%) required re-exploration. Post-operative diabetes insipidus was noted in 45 patients (32.84%), while SIADH was noted in 10 patients (7.35%). Other complications were cranial nerve palsy in 14 patients (10.2%), visual deterioration in 7 patients (5.1%). Neither tumour characteristics nor the choice of approach was associated with occurrence of post op hematoma. SIADH was significantly associated with patients with tumours involving cavernous sinus (p = 0.019) and subfrontal extension (p = 0.031). Patients with post-operative hematoma had significantly higher incidence of post-op DI (57.1% vs 28.7%; p = 0.021), while similar correlation was not noticed with SIADH (4.7 vs 7.8%).
TCS plays a distinct, albeit a small role in surgical management of pituitary adenoma. Tumour related or approach related factors are not significantly associated with the incidence of hematoma. Post-operative hematoma significantly influences the incidence of DI. A proper and judicious selection of approach and meticulous surgical technique should result in a reduction in associated morbidity and mortality.

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