J Clin Neurosci 2017 Aug 16;42:1-6. Epub 2017 Feb 16.
Cushing Neurosurgery Outcomes Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Neurosurgery, Harvard Medical School, 15 Francis Street, Boston, MA, USA.
Background: Cognitive impairment following transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) among patients with pituitary tumors has been intermittently reported and is not well established. We performed a systematic review to summarize the impact of TSS on cognitive function.
Methods: We conducted a systematic search of the literature using the PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase databases through October 2014. Studies were selected if they reported cognitive status after surgery and included at least 10 adult patients with pituitary tumors undergoing either endoscopic or microscopic TSS.
Results: After removing 69 duplicates, 758 articles were identified, of which 24 were selected for full text review after screening titles and abstracts. After reviewing full texts, nine studies with a combined total of 682 patients were included in the final analysis. Eight studies were cross-sectional and one was longitudinal. These studies used a wide variety of neurocognitive tests to assess memory, attention and executive function post-operatively. Of the eight studies, six reported impairments in verbal and non-verbal memory post-operatively, while others found no association related to memory, and some reported an improvement in episodic, verbal, or logical memory. While four studies found an impaired association between TSS and attention or executive function, another four studies did not.
Conclusion: The current literature on cognitive impairments after TSS is limited and inconsistent. This review demonstrates that patients undergoing TSS may experience a variety of effects on executive function and memory post-operatively, but changes in verbal memory are most common.
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