DOI: 10.4103/neuroindia.ni_913_20 ISSN: 0028-3886

Delineating the Spectrum of Pituitary Adenoma Based on the WHO 2017 Classification

Paul Paramita, Rao Shilpa, B N Nandeesh, T C Yasha, Santosh Vani
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neurology


The WHO 2017 classification of endocrine tumors incorporates lineage-specific transcription factors (TF) and hormone expression for the classification of pituitary adenoma (PA). There is paucity of reports describing the spectrum of PA based on this classification.


The aim of this study was to delineate the spectrum of PA based on WHO 2017 classification of endocrine tumors.

Materials and Methods:

PA diagnosed in the year 2018 were studied. H and E and hormonal immunohistochemistry (IHC) for GH, PRL, ACTH, TSH, FSH, LH, CK, T-Pit and MIB-1 were performed and the results were analyzed.


The cohort included 88 cases. M: F ratio was 2:1. Clinically, 22 (25%) were functional and 66 (75%) were non-functional adenomas. Amongst the clinically functional adenomas, GH secreting adenomas were the commonest (68%). Majority (83%) of non-functional adenomas were hormone positive with gonadotroph adenomas being the commonest (72.7%). Eleven (12.5%) PA were clinically and hormonally silent. Three of these showed intense nuclear T-Pit positivity, classifying them under silent corticotroph adenoma. Lineage of the remaining eight adenomas remained undetermined, since, IHC for Pit-1 and SF-1 was not performed. The aggressive adenomas identified by IHC included sparsely granulated somatotroph adenoma, Crooke cell adenoma, silent corticotroph adenoma, densely granulated lactotroph adenoma in men and constituted 17% of the PA. Four (4/88) cases were clinically invasive.


A large majority of PA including aggressive adenomas can be identified by IHC. Addition of T-Pit helped to identify silent corticotroph adenoma. Pit -1 and SF-1 TF would help identify plurihormonal Pit-1 PA and null cell adenomas.

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