Non-functioning pituitary neuroendocrine tumors do not cause endocrine symptoms related to hypersecretion of adenohypophyseal hormones and are clinically characterized by symptoms due to growing sellar tumor mass. Histopathological classification of this tumor group has always been challenging due to their heterogeneity, limited knowledge on their biology, and diverse methodological problems. We have searched PubMed database for data related to the histopathological classification of non-functioning pituitary tumors and methods for its application. Principles of the classification and grading presented in the recently released 4th edition of the World Health Organization classification of endocrine tumors have been summarized. Based on the expression of anterior pituitary hormones and pituitary specific transcription factors, gonadotroph tumors dominate within the group of clinically non-functioning tumors, followed by corticotroph type; however, other less common types of the non-functioning tumors can be identified. Assessment of tumor cell proliferation is important to identify “high-risk adenomas.” A few subtypes of non-functioning tumors belong to the category of potentially aggressive tumors, independent of the cell proliferation rate. Here, we present up to date criteria for the classification of clinically non-functioning pituitary tumors, offer a diagnostic approach for the routine clinical use, and emphasize a need for inclusion of prognostic and predictive markers in the classification.
Pituitary – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 23, 2017
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