Systematic review and network meta-analysis assess the comparative efficacy and safety of transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary tumor


To quantitatively synthesize the comparative efficacy and safety of the most common surgical approaches including endonasal transsphenoidal endoscopic surgery (ETES), sublabial transsphenoidal microsurgery (STMS) and endonasal transsphenoidal microsurgery (ETMS) for all kinds of pituitary tumors. This systematic review and network meta-analysis was performed on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and comparison studies from databases of Pubmed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library. We selected the rate of gross complete resection as our primary outcome of efficacy. And the incidence of all complications, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, diabetes insipidus, nasal septal perforation, death, and bleeding were designed as our primary outcomes of safety. Twenty-seven studies with 2618 patients were included in this network meta-analysis. On efficacy, there was no statistical difference among the three methods including ETES, STMS, and ETMS. As for safety, results indicated that the incidence of total complications of STMS (OR = 4.74; 95% CI 1.03, 40.14) is significantly superior to ETES. And the incidence of diabetes insipidus of ETMS (OR = 2.21; 95% CI 1.31, 3.81) was significantly superior to that of ETES. Besides, there was no statistical difference in the other complications including CSF leak, nasal septal perforation, death, and bleeding. We clarified the overpraise of the efficacy of endoscopy especially the endonasal transsphenoidal approach, and verified that all the approaches owned similar efficacy. Moreover, we recommended the endoscopy to be the first choice for pituitary tumors, because it demonstrated the best safety.

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Correspondence to Chunhua Hang.

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Dai, W., Zhuang, Z., Ling, H. et al. Systematic review and network meta-analysis assess the comparative efficacy and safety of transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary tumor. Neurosurg Rev 44, 515–527 (2021).

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  • Transsphenoidal surgery
  • Endoscopy
  • Microsurgery
  • Pituitary tumor
  • Systematic review
  • Network meta-analysis