Purpose: There is a paucity of epidemiological information on treatment and imaging of pituitary adenomas in Australia.
Methods: Australian data on pituitary surgery, hospital admissions for pituitary adenomas, and pituitary imaging on patients 15 years and over were obtained from administrative databases between 2000/2001 and 2014/2015. Changes over time and by age and sex were assessed.
Results: In 2014/15 there were 37.7 pituitary procedures/million population, corresponding to a 35.4% (p < 0.05) increase over the 2000/2001 rate. Overall, most (87.2%) procedures were partial excisions of pituitary gland via transsphenoidal surgery (TSS). Admissions for acromegaly increased from 7.1/million in 2000/2001 to 17.2/million in 2003/2004 and then decreased to 6.5/million in 2014/2015. The average age-adjusted rate of pituitary imaging over the study period was 689.6/million/year, which increased significantly (p < 0.05). There was a significant increase in pituitary MRIs (p < 0.05) and a significant decline in pituitary CTs (p < 0.05). Surgical procedure rates were correlated with the pituitary imaging rates (r = 0.62, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Pituitary surgery rates increased between 2000/2001 and 2014/2015. The most common procedure was partial excision of the pituitary gland via TSS. Admissions for pituitary neoplasms increased over the study while admissions for acromegaly rose to their highest rate in 2003/2004 and then decreased. There was a substantial increase in the rate of pituitary imaging, which may have resulted in increased detection of pituitary incidentalomas. The underlying reasons for the increased rate of pituitary surgery, and the non-sustained increased rate of admissions for acromegaly are unclear and warrant further investigation.