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To evaluate the outcomes of patients with giant pituitary tumours (GPTs) who underwent a purely binasal endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery (BETS) and compare their outcomes with those achieved through craniotomy and microscopic transsphenoidal surgery (MTS).
Seventy-two consecutive patients with GPTs (greater than 10 cm3 in volume) who were treated surgically with BETS, craniotomy, or MTS from October 1994 to July 2009 were reviewed for clinical outcomes, degree of tumor resection, recurrence rates, and surgical complications.
The BETS group had significantly better mean reduction of tumor volume (91%) than the craniotomy (63%, p = 0.001), and the MTS (63%, p = 0.010) groups. Gross total resection rates were also higher for BETS patients than for craniotomy patients (p = 0.010). Improvements in vision and headaches were noted in 96% and 100% of patients in the BETS group, respectively; these rates were similar to those in the craniotomy and MTS groups. Of the four patients with hormone-secreting tumours in the BETS group, three remained in remission. The median length-of-stay (four days) for the BETS group was shorter (p = 0.010), and surgical complications were less frequent (p = 0.037) and less severe compared to the craniotomy group. There were no differences in the recurrence rates: 79% percent of patients in the BETS group, 69% in the craniotomy group, and 79% in the MTS group were recurrence free at last follow-up (p = 0.829).
Treatment of GPT with BETS offers excellent oncologic and clinical outcomes and can frequently obviate the need for craniotomy in these patients.
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