Post-operative vision loss: analysis of 587 patients undergoing endoscopic surgery for pituitary macroadenoma

John W. Rutland, Jonathan T. Dullea, Eric K. Oermann, Rui Feng, Dillan F. Villavisanis, Shivee Gilja, William Shuman, Travis Lander, Satish Govindaraj, Alfred M.C. Iloreta, James Chelnis, Kalmon Post, Joshua B. Bederson, Raj K. Shrivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Vision loss following surgery for pituitary adenoma is poorly described in the literature and cannot be reliably predicted with current prognostic models. Detailed characterization of this population is warranted to further understand the factors that predispose a minority of patients to post-operative vision loss. Materials and methods: The medical records of 587 patients who underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre between January 2013 and August 2018 were reviewed. Patients who experienced post-operative vision deterioration, defined by reduced visual acuity, worsened VFDs, or new onset of blurry vision, were identified and analysed. Results: Eleven out of 587 patients who received endoscopic surgery for pituitary adenoma exhibited post-operative vision deterioration. All eleven patients presented with preoperative visual impairment (average duration of 13.1 months) and pre-operative optic chiasm compression. Seven patients experienced visual deterioration within 24 h of surgery. The remaining four patients experienced delayed vision loss within one month of surgery. Six patients had complete blindness in at least one eye, one patient had complete bilateral blindness. Four patients had reduced visual acuity compared with preoperative testing, and four patients reported new-onset blurriness that was not present before surgery. High rates of graft placement (10/11 patients) and opening of the diaphragma sellae (9/11 patients) were found in this series. Four patients had hematomas and four patients had another significant post-operative complication. Conclusions: While most patients with pituitary adenoma experience favourable ophthalmological outcomes following endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery, a subset of patients exhibit post-operative vision deterioration. The present study reports surgical and disease features of this population to further our understanding of factors that may underlie vision loss following pituitary adenoma surgery. Graft placement and opening of the diaphragma sellae may be important risk factors in vision loss following ETS and should be an area of future investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-500
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022


  • Endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery
  • diaphragma sellae
  • pituitary adenoma
  • suprasellar tumour
  • vision loss


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