Endoscopic versus microscopic approach for surgical treatment of acromegaly

Hussein Fathalla*, Michael D. Cusimano, Antonio Di Ieva, John Lee, Omar Alsharif, Jeannette Goguen, Stanley Zhang, Harley Smyth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Transsphenoidal surgery in the setting of acromegaly is quite challenging due to increased soft tissue mass, bony overgrowth, and bleeding. There is a debate on the endoscopic versus microscopic approach for these patients. The purpose of our study is to compare the outcomes for acromegaly after transsphenoidal surgery using both techniques. Retrospective review of 65 acromegalic patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery in our department. Clinical remission was defined as resolution of typical acromegalic symptoms. Radiological resection was defined by volumetric criteria, and biochemical remission was defined as by the 2010 consensus on the criteria for remission of acromegaly. There was no significant difference in age, preoperative endocrine status, percent of macro adenomas, suprasellar, or infrasellar extension between both groups. Patients were assigned to both groups based on our existing referral pattern. Endoscopic approach was performed in 42 patients, while the microscopic approach was performed in 23 patients. No significant difference in remission rates was found between both groups (45.2 vs. 34.7 %, p = 0.40). The endoscopic group, however, had a significantly higher rate of gross total resections (61 vs. 42 %, p = 0.05). There was also a trend towards higher rates of gross total resections when cavernous sinus was present (48 vs. 14.2 %, p = 0.09). Postoperative diabetes insipidus occurred more in microscopic patients (34.7 vs. 17 %, p = 0.05), otherwise there was no significant difference in rates of complications. The median follow-up period was 56.6 months (range 6–156, mean 66.1). There is no significant difference in the rates of biochemical remission between the endoscopic and microscopic techniques. The endoscope technique, however, seems to be superior in achieving gross total resection especially with tumors invading the cavernous sinus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalNeurosurgical Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • 2010 consensus for acromegaly
  • Acromegaly
  • Endoscopic transsphenoid
  • Microscopic transsphenoid


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