The Center for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery

Neuroendocrine Tumors


This group of tumors arises from the hypothalamus, pituitary stalk, pituitary gland and related structures. Their presence may be associated with hormonal over- or underproduction resulting in distinct symptoms that may include personality changes, growth delay in children, appetite abnormalities (eg excessive eating or hyperphagia), excessive thirst or urination, heat or cold intolerance, menstrual and sexual changes such as loss of libido, and changes in appearance (eg acromegaly and Cushing’s syndrome). Compression of surrounding structures by tumors can result in loss of vision. The most common types of neuroendocrine tumors are pituitary adenomas and craniopharyngiomas. Less commonly seen tumors include gliomas (arising from the hypothalamus or optic nerves), hamartomas and Rathke’s cysts. While in many cases these tumors can be cured by surgical excision, tumors can be extremely challenging to treat because of their adherence to nerves, brain tissue and blood vessels. In these situations treatment may also include medications and radiation therapy.

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