Diabetic retinopathy has become one of the most frequent causes of progressive, incurable blindness. Because of the urgency of this subject, this preliminary report is submitted of five cases treated in a new and radical fashion. This radical treatment consists of hypophysectomy, or surgical removal of the pituitary. The postoperative progress of the retinopathy in these cases suggests a possible beneficial effect, especially with regard to retinal and vitreous hemorrhages. However, the cases are too few, with retinopathy too advanced or followup too short, to permit anything approaching adequate evaluation.
Chabanier1 was the first to report hypophysectomy on a diabetic patient. Hypophysectomy for diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy has been reported by Luft* (20 cases) and Kinsel4 (4 cases). After hypophysectomy in Luft's series,† vision usually remained about the same or improved slightly. In 22 eyes of 11 patients followed from 3 to 24 months, vision improved in 8
SCHIMEK RA. Hypophysectomy for Diabetic RetinopathyA Preliminary Report. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1956;56(3):416-425. doi:10.1001/archopht.1956.00930040424009