Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 142, Issue 1, pp 171–181 | Cite as

The role of Crooke’s changes in recurrence and remission after gamma knife radiosurgery

  • Diogo CordeiroEmail author
  • Zhiyuan Xu
  • Mohammed Nasser
  • Beatriz Lopes
  • Mary Lee Vance
  • Jason Sheehan
Clinical Study



The objective of this study is to evaluate the role of Crooke’s changes (CC) in normal the peri-tumoral anterior pituitary gland, in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD) with a histopathological confirmed corticotroph adenoma, and determine if there is any difference in the recurrence and remission rates in CD patients after treatment with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery (GKRS).


All patients treated with GKRS for CD from 2005 to 2016 at our institution were identified. Patients had a confirmed adrenocorticotropic (ACTH)-secreting adenoma, i.e. corticotroph adenoma, and normal pituitary gland included in the surgical specimen, and specimens were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and also immunostaining for cytokeratin and ACTH. Statistical analyses were performed in a total of 61 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Additionally, we analyzed 20 patients in each group, with and without CC, after they were matched in a propensity score fashion.


Endocrine remission defined as, a normal 24 h urine free cortisol while off suppressive medication, occurred in 48 patients (78.7%), with 76.9% in those with CC and 81.8% in those without CC. There was no statistical significant difference between the two groups in regarding remission (p = 0.312) or recurrence (p = 0.659) in either the unmatched or matched cohorts.


The presence or absence of CC in normal pituitary gland does not appear to confer a lower rate of remission or a higher rate of recurrence after GKRS. Patients with pituitary corticotroph adenomas that present with CC features may be well served by Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).


Gamma knife radiosurgery Pituitary adenoma Cushing’s disease Crooke’s changes Neuropathology Stereotactic radiosurgery 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they do not have any conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of University of Virginia (UVA).

Informed consent

This is a retrospective study and informed consent was not required.

Supplementary material

11060_2018_3078_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine and Neurological SurgeryUniversity of Virginia, Pituitary ClinicCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of Virginia Health SystemCharlottesvilleUSA

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