Cytodifferentiation of pituitary tumors influences pathogenesis and cavernous sinus invasion
Asmaro K, Zhang M, Rodrigues AJ, Mohyeldin A, Vigo V, Nernekli K, Vogel H, Born DE, Katznelson L, and Fernandez-Miranda JC. Cytodifferentiation of pituitary tumors influences pathogenesis and cavernous sinus invasion. J Neurosurg 2023; 1-9.
Journal of neurosurgery
OBJECTIVE: Pituitary tumors (PTs) continue to present unique challenges given their proximity to the cavernous sinus, whereby invasive behavior can limit the extent of resection and surgical outcome, especially in functional tumors. The aim of this study was to elucidate patterns of cavernoinvasive behavior by PT subtype.
METHODS: A total of 169 consecutive first-time surgeries for PTs were analyzed; 45% of the tumors were functional. There were 64 pituitary transcription factor-1 (PIT-1)-expressing, 62 steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1)-expressing, 38 T-box transcription factor (TPIT)-expressing, and 5 nonstaining PTs. The gold standard for cavernous sinus invasion (CSI) was based on histopathological examination of the cavernous sinus medial wall and intraoperative exploration.
RESULTS: Cavernous sinus disease was present in 33% of patients. Of the Knosp grade 3 and 4 tumors, 12 (19%) expressed PIT-1, 7 (11%) expressed SF-1, 8 (21%) expressed TPIT, and 2 (40%), were nonstaining (p = 0.36). PIT-1 tumors had a significantly higher predilection for CSI: 53% versus 24% and 18% for TPIT and SF-1 tumors, respectively (OR 6.08, 95% CI 2.86-13.55; p < 0.001). Microscopic CSI-defined as Knosp grade 0-2 tumors with confirmed invasion-was present in 44% of PIT-1 tumors compared with 7% and 13% of TPIT and SF-1 tumors, respectively (OR 11.72, 95% CI 4.35-35.50; p < 0.001). Using the transcavernous approach to excise cavernous sinus disease, surgical biochemical remission rates for patients with acromegaly, prolactinoma, and Cushing disease were 88%, 87%, and 100%, respectively. The granule density of PIT-1 tumors and corticotroph functional status did not influence CSI.
CONCLUSIONS: The likelihood of CSI differed by transcription factor expression; PIT-1-expressing tumors had a higher predilection for invading the cavernous sinus, particularly microscopically, compared with the other tumor subtypes. This elucidates a unique cavernoinvasive behavior absent in cells from other lineages. Innovative surgical techniques, however, can mitigate tumor behavior and achieve robust, reproducible biochemical remission and gross-total resection rates. These findings can have considerable implications on the surgical management and study of PT biology and behavior.