What causes a pituitary tumor?

Scientists are not sure what causes a pituitary tumor. However, sometimes these abnormal growths form as part of the inherited genetic disorder multiple endocrine neoplasia I. While the causes of most pituitary tumors remain unknown, researchers are leaning towards some sort of genetic mutation as a possible reason for these growths.

Anthony P. Heaney, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Pituitary tumors are associated with a few familial genetic conditions. For example, multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 1 can be associated with pituitary tumors, most commonly prolactin-secreting tumors. This genetic condition is so-called autosomal dominant which means that a child of an affected adult has a one in two chance of inheriting the disorder. Other genetic associations of pituitary tumors are with MEN type 4, Carney complex, McCune–Albright syndrome and the recently established syndrome of familial isolated pituitary adenoma (FIPA).

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