​Non-Secretory Pituitary Tumours

Pituitary tumours (adenomas) are abnormal growths on the pituitary gland (gland controlling the growth and development of the body). Non-secreting pituitary tumours are those which do not secrete any hormones, they only cause health problems due to their size and location. These tumours may cause the pituitary glands to produces lesser hormones (hypopituitarism).

The exact cause of pituitary tumours is unclear. However they may be caused by changes in the genes which lead to abnormal growth of tissues on the pituitary gland. Tumour growth can occur at any age, but they are usually more prevalent in older age.​

The symptoms are greatly varied depending on the effects of the tumour. Generally the symptoms due to tumour pressure include:

  • Impaired vision

  • Headache

  • Abnormal control of eye movement

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Symptoms of pituitary hormones deficiency

  • Loss of body hair

  • Weakness

  • Irregular or no menstrual period

  • Sexual dysfunction​​

If you notice any of the above mentioned signs and symptoms, visit a doctor at the Internal Medicine Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital so it can be determined if the cause is a pituitary tumour.​
Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

Your diagnoses will start off with a discussion with your doctor about your symptoms and your medical history, followed by a physical exam. If your doctor suspects the presence of a pituitary tumour, more tests may be conducted, including:

  • Blood test to determine the level of certain hormones in your blood. Low levels of hormones indicate hypopituitarism which may be triggered by the tumour

  • Computerized Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of the brain for a clear image to be studied by your doctor to determine the size and location of the tumour

  • Vision testing to determine the effects of the tumour on your sight​​​

The most effective treatment for this disorder is the removal of the tumour. Surgery involves the removal of tumour through the nasal cavity using small instruments and a camera (transsphenoidal microsurgery). 

Other treatment options include:

  • Hormone replacement therapy to restore the levels of deficient hormones back to normal

  • Radiation therapy in which high-energy X-rays are used to shrink the tumour. It can be used to remove the remaining tumour or if the tumour returns, post-surgery​​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.