Objective assessment of olfaction after transsphenoidal pituitary surgery

Academic Article


  • Background: Transnasal endoscopic pituitary surgery has proven to be a safe and effective method for removing pituitary tumors. Direct and angled endoscopy at the site of dissection provides excellent visualization without external incisions. However, olfactory loss has been documented after surgical approaches to the pituitary and is accompanied by a significant detriment to quality of life. Study Design: A prospective cohort study. Methods: Subjects 19 years and older who were undergoing transnasal endoscopic pituitary surgery were recruited for this study. The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (UPSIT) was administered preoperatively and then at 3-4 months. Data regarding demographics, reconstructive technique, and complications were recorded. The patients had skull-base reconstruction with a Medpore implant or a vascularized nasoseptal flap. Results and Discussion: A total of 33 subjects were recruited, with 18 completing the study. The mean (SEM) age was 58.2 ± 2.4 years, with 12 females and 6 males. The majority of patients (89%) had nonfunctioning macroadenomas, and six individuals had reconstruction by using a vascularized nasoseptal flap. Matched mean (SEM) preoperative and postoperative UPSIT scores for this cohort were not significantly different (31.3 ± 0.4 versus 30.5 ± 0.5, respectively; p = 0.54). In addition, there was no significant difference between the mean pr erative and postoperative UPSIT scores of the patients who had nasoseptal flaps (29.4 ± 1.1 vs. 28.6 ± 1.3 respectively; p = 0.87). Conclusions: In the current study, pre- and postoperative UPSIT scores were not significantly different in patients who underwent endoscopic transnasal pituitary surgery. The use of a nasoseptal flap also did not adversely affect postoperative UPSIT scores.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chaaban MR; Chaudhry AL; Riley KO; Woodworth BA
  • Start Page

  • 365
  • End Page

  • 368
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 5