There are several types of pituitary macroadenomas, classified based on whether they produce hormones or not. A pituitary macroadenoma that makes one or more of the pituitary hormones is called a functioning pituitary macroadenoma. A pituitary macroadenoma that does not make hormones is called a nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenoma. Each type of functioning pituitary macroadenoma causes different symptoms, depending on the type of hormone that is being produced. Examples of functioning pituitary macroadenomas include:
- Prolactin-producing macroadenomas
- Growth hormone-producing macroadenomas
- ACTH-producing macroadenomas
- Thyroid hormone-producing macroadenomas.
Symptoms of a pituitary macroadenoma can range from simple, common complaints, such as tiredness or restlessness, to more serious symptoms, such as headaches, vomiting, or dizziness.
Pituitary macroadenoma symptoms vary, depending on the size and location of the macroadenoma. If the macroadenoma grows large and presses on nearby parts of the brain, localized symptoms, such as headache or dizziness, can occur. A pituitary macroadenoma can also press on the optic nerve, causing problems with vision.
Pituitary macroadenoma symptoms also vary based on the hormones the pituitary macroadenoma is producing.
(Click Pituitary Tumor Symptoms for more information on symptoms seen with a pituitary macroadenoma.)