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December 1985

Pituitary Tumors

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(12):2261-2262. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360120133027

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The pituitary gland has provided a large share of the excitement in endocrinology in the past decade. The nature of its several polypeptide hormonal secretions has been clarified, and assay methods for measuring their blood concentrations have been perfected. Neurohumoral control of these secretions has also been investigated extensively, and, although the complexity defies final clarification, major advances have been made. The corticotropin and growth hormone releasing factors have finally been identified, analyzed, and synthesized. Parallel to these major advances in understanding of hypothalamic-pituitary physiology has been the development of techniques for imaging the gland and its fossa. Polytomography, computed tomographic scanning, and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques can demonstrate tiny changes in the pituitary contours. Therapeutic advances are also impressive. Pharmacologic agents have proved effective in the management of some functioning pituitary tumors, especially prolactinomas. Refinement of the technique of hypophysectomy by the transsphenoidal route has provided a reliable

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