, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 261–267 | Cite as

Clinical and epidemiological characteristics of pituitary tumours in a single centre in Saudi Arabia

  • Salma H. Hussein
  • Tayba S. Wahedi
  • Naji Al Johani
  • Yasser A. Hakami
  • Kamal Alzahrani
  • Mussa H. AlMalkiEmail author
Original Article



Pituitary tumours are slowly progressing tumours, mostly benign, with a reported global prevalence of 16.7% (22.5% in radiologic studies and 14.4% in autopsy studies). Clinical and epidemiological data on pituitary adenomas in Saudi Arabia are lacking. We aimed to utilise our database variables to determine clinical and epidemiological characteristics as well as treatment outcomes of pituitary tumours among Saudi patients.


This retrospective study was conducted in King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in patients with pituitary tumours. Data were collected between 2006 and 2017.


Overall, 284 patients (females: 38.1 ± 13.9 years; males: 44.1 ± 15.4 years) with pituitary tumours were included. Common pituitary tumours were prolactin-secreting adenomas (45%), non-functioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs: 35.6%), growth hormone (GH)-secreting adenomas (10.6%), craniopharyngiomas (7%), and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting adenomas (1.8%). Prolactin-secreting adenomas were more frequently microadenomas and were common among females. Headaches and visual symptoms occurred commonly in NFPA patients (62.4 and 45.5%, respectively) than in those with prolactin-secreting adenomas (56.3 and 32.8%, respectively) or GH-secreting adenomas (40 and 16.6%, respectively). Medical treatment was the mainstay for prolactin-secreting adenoma patients (69%). Pituitary surgery was the primary therapy in NFPA patients (43.6%) and GH-secreting adenomas (86.7%).


This study identified the pattern of pituitary tumours in Saudi patients and management strategies. Further, the study highlights the need for a nationwide registry to improve surveillance and physicians’ knowledge in Saudi Arabia.


Pituitary tumours Prolactin secreting adenomas Non-functioning pituitary adenoma Growth hormone secreting adenomas Clinical and epidemiology 



The authors would like to acknowledge Turacoz Healthcare Solutions, Gurugram, India ( for the editing support.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by the research ethics committee of the KFMC research centre.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Salma H. Hussein
    • 1
  • Tayba S. Wahedi
    • 1
  • Naji Al Johani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yasser A. Hakami
    • 1
  • Kamal Alzahrani
    • 1
  • Mussa H. AlMalki
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Obesity, Endocrine and Metabolism CentreKing Fahad Medical City (KFMC)RiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.King Fahad Medical City, College of MedicineKing Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health ScienceRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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