Pituitary macroadenoma causing symptomatic internal carotid artery compression: Surgical treatment through transsphenoidal tumor resection

Roberto Rey-Dios, Troy D. Payner, Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations


Pituitary macroadenomas can invade the cavernous sinus and rarely cause occlusion of the internal carotid artery (ICA). Most patients with symptomatic obstruction of the ICA by a pituitary tumor have been reported as a result of apoplexy. The authors review the literature about this condition and report a 48-year-old man who presented with transient ischemic attacks leading to a stroke. Imaging studies demonstrated complete occlusion of the left ICA and critical narrowing of the right ICA at the level of the clinoid processes, most likely due to macroadenoma mass effect. There was no radiologic evidence of apoplexy. Surgical resection of the tumor and ICA decompression via the transsphenoidal route resulted in prevention of further symptoms. Histopathologic analysis confirmed a nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma without evidence of hemorrhage or intratumoral infarction. This patient, to the authors' knowledge, is the first documented patient with symptomatic carotid compression by a pituitary adenoma without evidence of apoplexy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014



  • Brain ischemia
  • Carotid stenosis
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Transsphenoidal resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)

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