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Percentages for Pituitary Tumor Recurrence

Question: What percentage of patients with Cushing’s due to a pituitary tumor experience a recurrence?
Answer: In the hands of an experienced pituitary neurosurgeon, the majority of patients (70-85%) with small ACTH-secreting pituitary tumors (microadenomas) have a remission; however, the initial remission rate is less (35-50%) in patients with large pituitary tumors. The recurrence rate of Cushing disease is 15-30% in the first ten years after surgery. Long term surveillance is recommended on a yearly basis for recurrence. Since late-night salivary cortisol is the most sensitive test for detecting recurrence, the Endocrine Society guidelines recommend this test annually.

By Dr. James Findling, Endocrinology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, Spring, 2017

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