ABSTRACT

Medical management is currently the most common treatment for pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism and hypersomatotropism/acromegaly in veterinary medicine. Medical management does not provide a cure for either disease process, and rarely is pituitary imaging a part of initial diagnostics. Early pituitary imaging in animals with clinically functional pituitary tumors provides a baseline assessment, allows monitoring of tumor changes, and permits radiation and surgical planning. Surgery is the only treatment for pituitary tumors that has curative intent and allows for a definitive diagnosis. Surgical removal of pituitary tumors via transsphenoidal hypophysectomy is an effective treatment for clinical pituitary tumors in patients exhibiting endocrine abnormalities associated with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism and hypersomatotropism. Surgery, however, is rarely pursued until patients have failed medical management, and often not until they are showing neurologic signs, making surgical success challenging. It is well documented that dogs surgically treated when the pituitary mass is small have a lower mortality, a lower recurrence rate, and a longer survival than those with larger pituitary masses. Providing owners with the option of early pituitary imaging in addition to medical, surgical, and radiation treatment options should be the standard of care for animals diagnosed with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism or hypersomatotropism.

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