Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ultrasonics Improves Surgeons’ View When Removing Tumors From The Pituitary Gland

Date:
June 17, 2009
Source:
SINTEF
Summary:
Ultrasonics improves surgeons’ view when they remove tumors from the pituitary gland. Hidden in a little hollow in the skull, at about the level of the eye, we have a gland about the size of a blackcurrant. This is the hypophysis, or pituitary, the body’s center for hormone manufacture. The gland produces a wide range of hormones which in turn control other organs that manufacture yet more hormones.

Ultrasonics: Operating on the pituitary involves leading an ultrasonic instrument in through the nose. On the ultrasonic image: remaining tumour tissue (white outline), route of the visual nerve (yellow arrows) and blood-flow in an artery (orange and lilac).
Credit: Image courtesy of SINTEF

Ultrasonics improves surgeons’ view when they remove tumours from the pituitary gland.

Hidden in a little hollow in the skull, at about the level of the eye, we have a gland about the size of a blackcurrant. This is the hypophysis, or pituitary, the body’s centre for hormone manufacture. The gland produces a wide range of hormones which in turn control other organs that manufacture yet more hormones.

Every year, some 120 Norwegian patients are operated for tumours in the pituitary gland. Now SINTEF, NTNU and St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim have joined forces to develop an ultrasonic instrument that give Trondheim’s neurosurgeons an extra “eye” during interventions of this sort.

Promising method

Assistant physician and Doctoral student Ole Solheim describes the new operation aid as very promising.

“We are probably able to remove more tumour tissue than we would have been able to do otherwise, which reduces the chances of the tumour returning, and increases the likelihood of obtaining a nearly normal hormonal balance. The instrument also makes it easier to see where the tumour cells lie relative to the visual nerves and blood vessels – structures close to the pituitary that we must avoid damaging during the operation.”

For the moment, use of the new instrument has the status of an experimental treatment. The new “window” on the inside of the skull has been used on 15 patients at St. Olav’s Hospital.

In earlier days, people afflicted with pituitary tumours might well end up in circus freak-shows, because the cocktail of compounds that are produced by the pituitary includes growth hormones. Certain pituitary tumours may produce abnormal patterns of growth before the body is fully grown. If the illness develops later in life, it can result in a very heavy body shape, and in the worst cases, a lethal stress on the patient’s heart. Tumours may also cause pressure on other brain tissue and produce damage there.

More study needed

Solheim emphasises that large-scale comparative studies of operations on pituitary tumour patients are needed before the value of the ultrasonic instrument can be documented. However, he points out that even the best aids can never guarantee that an operation will not lead to complications.

In the development of the instrument, SINTEF’s Tormod Selbekk, and Lasse Lψvstakken and Tonni Johansen of NTNU were the main contributors on the technology side.

The 3D Ultrasound Centre of Expertise, the Research Council of Norway and the mid-Norway Regional Health Authority have all helped to finance the development of the new surgical aid. SINTEF, NTNU and St. Olav’s Hospital have joined forces with the Norwegian company Sonowand to continue development of the instrument.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SINTEF. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SINTEF. "Ultrasonics Improves Surgeons’ View When Removing Tumors From The Pituitary Gland." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608143701.htm>.
SINTEF. (2009, June 17). Ultrasonics Improves Surgeons’ View When Removing Tumors From The Pituitary Gland. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608143701.htm
SINTEF. "Ultrasonics Improves Surgeons’ View When Removing Tumors From The Pituitary Gland." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090608143701.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins