Non-functional Pituitary Tumors

Small, non-functional pituitary adenomas or tumors (2-3 mm in size) occur in about 10 percent of the population and are usually detected during brain imaging conducted for a different reason (pituitary incidentalomas). These small pituitary tumors usually do not cause any problems; however, if small pituitary tumors grow, problems may arise so clinical supervision is necessary upon discovery of these tumors.

With larger non-functional pituitary tumors, patients often experience headaches, vision problems, and symptoms of pituitary insufficiency. Vision problems are a serious complication of pituitary tumors and usually begin with loss of peripheral vision. If untreated, vision problems typically progress to blindness. However, if pituitary tumors are caught early enough and treated surgically, vision usually improves.