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Intraoperative Ultrasound in Patients Undergoing Transsphoidal Surgery for Pituitary Adenoma: Systematic Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Hani J. Marcus, Tom Vercauteren, Sebastien Ourselin, Neil L. Dorward

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-685
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Early online date11 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


King's Authors


Background Transsphenoidal surgery is the gold standard for pituitary adenoma resection. However, despite advances in microsurgical and endoscopic techniques, some pituitary adenomas can be challenging to cure. Objective We sought to determine whether, in patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma, intraoperative ultrasound is a safe and effective technologic adjunct. Methods The PubMed database was searched between January 1996 and January 2016 to identify relevant publications that 1) featured patients undergoing transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma, 2) used intraoperative ultrasound, and 3) reported on safety or effectiveness. Reference lists were also checked, and expert opinions were sought to identify further publications. Results Ultimately, 10 studies were included, comprising 1 cohort study, 7 case series, and 2 case reports. One study reported their prototype probe malfunctioned, leading to false-positive results in 2 cases, and another study' prototype probe was too large to safely enter the sphenoid sinus in 2 cases. Otherwise, no safety issues directly related to use of intraoperative ultrasound were reported. In the only comparative study, remission occurred in 89.7% (61/68) of patients with Cushing disease in whom intraoperative ultrasound was used, compared with 83.8% (57/68) in whom it was not. All studies reported that surgeons anecdotally found intraoperative ultrasound helpful. Conclusions Although there is limited and low-quality evidence available, the use of intraoperative ultrasound appears to be a safe and effective technologic adjunct to transsphenoidal surgery for pituitary adenoma. Advances in ultrasound technology may allow for more widespread use of such devices.

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