Penn Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Penn Pituitary Center

The Penn Pituitary Center at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia combines the expertise of internationally recognized specialists with state-of-the-art diagnostic resources and treatments for pituitary disorders.

Research shows that the risk of complications for pituitary tumor surgery is higher when performed by a surgeon doing less than 100 pituitary surgeries a year. Penn's neurosurgeons perform enough case volume to avoid these risks, and Penn is one of only a handful of centers performing more than 150 pituitary tumor surgeries a year.

Patient Care at the Penn Pituitary Center

Patients at the Center benefit from a multidisciplinary team of endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, interventional radiologists, and neuro-ophthalmologists working together to provide the latest specialized care for patients with a pituitary or hypothalamic tumor, or with pituitary disorders such as Cushing syndrome.

Diagnostic resources at the Penn Pituitary Center include:

  • Provocative endocrine testing — Includes stimulation and suppression of growth hormone, CRH testing, metyrapone testing and water deprivation testing
  • Inferior petrosal sinus sampling — A technique, performed in interventional radiology, that distinguishes Cushing's disease from ectopic ACTH syndrome
  • High resolution MRI (3T) — Improves visualization of the pituitary and surrounding structures

Therapeutic resources at the Penn Pituitary Center include:

  • Patient instruction — A dedicated nurse instructs patients in self-administration of specialized neuroendocrine medications.
  • Clinical trials — Physicians at the Penn Pituitary Center often participate or lead clinical trials of new neuroendocrine medications, which offer patients access to new medications not otherwise available.
  • Neurosurgery — Penn neurosurgeons use advanced endoscopic and microscopic techniques along with intraoperative image guidance to get the best therapeutic results.
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) — Five to seven modulated fields of radiation are used to precisely shape the radiation field to conform to the target and avoid normal tissue. The Z Med localization device allows for millimeter accuracy of daily positioning and monitors positioning during the treatment.
  • Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ radiation — A single high dose of gamma radiation is delivered to the tumor.
  • Proton beam therapy — Penn is one of only 11 centers in the United States currently using protons to treat tumors. Proton beam therapy offers the advantage of delivering a high dose to the tumor but a very small dose to the surrounding normal tissue.

Learn more about patient care at the Penn Pituitary Center

Research at the Penn Pituitary Center

The Penn Pituitary Center participates in research and clinical trials designed to advance the treatment of pituitary disorders. Through research, Penn clinicians are able to bring the newest and most innovative treatments to patients.

Research at Penn takes place at Penn's NIH-funded Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center, one of only 11 such centers in the United States.

Patients may participate in various clinical trials for pituitary disorders and related conditions conducted at Penn.

Learn more about pituitary research at Penn's Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center