PMID: 5907943Mar 26, 1966

Pituitary ablation for diabetic retinopathy

Canadian Medical Association Journal
J S SpeakmanW T Clarke


Pituitary ablation was performed on 26 patients with advanced diabetic retinopathy by pituitary stalk section (nine patients) or transphenoidal hypophysectomy (17 patients). After a latent period varying from six to 12 months, retinal hemorrhages disappeared, vitreous hemorrhages stopped and new vessels regressed. Eight of 10 patients followed up for more than a year had a complete remission, although in one of two patients whose ablation was incomplete the retinopathy remained active. Preoperative visual acuity levels were preserved in 47 of 50 eyes of patients followed up for a mean period of 12 months. Three patients have died, two from causes related to their operation. Twenty of the survivors have continued in their usual occupation. Pituitary ablation is effective in preventing the progressive visual deterioration usually associated with advanced diabetic retinopathy.

Related Concepts

Diabetic Retinopathy
Postoperative Complications
Retinal Pigment Epithelial Detachment
Retinal Hemorrhage

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