Overview of the Pituitary Disorders Program

The Pituitary Disorders Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of pituitary gland disorders in adult patients. 

The program’s multidisciplinary, Patients First approach is unique in that patients are evaluated by the endocrinology and surgery teams at the same time.

The expert caregivers at the Pituitary Disorders Program manages a range of conditions and diseases, delivering comprehensive care to meet the individualized needs of patients affected by pituitary gland disorders.

What We Treat

The pituitary gland is an organ that is the size of a pea, located at the base of the brain. Also known as the “master gland,” the pituitary gland helps to regulate other glands in the body. Pituitary gland disorders can disrupt the proper function of hormone-producing organs, such as the thyroid, adrenal glands, and gonads. If the body produces too much or too little of a hormone, symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Diaphoresis (sweating)
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Sexual dysfunction 

Tumors can also develop in the pituitary gland. These tumors often press on the eye nerve, resulting in vision loss. 

Diagnosis & Treatment 

Diagnosis of Pituitary Gland Disorders 

At the first visit to the Pituitary Disorders Program, patients are asked specific questions about their medical history and have a physical examination. Based on the information obtained, the program’s physicians may recommend diagnostic tests such as:

  • Hormonal evaluation: Measuring blood levels of pituitary hormones to provide valuable information about the function of the pituitary and the other glands controlled by its hormones.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An imaging study that uses magnets to take pictures of the structure of the pituitary gland.
  • Vision testing: A special vision test may be used to evaluate decreased visual field due to a pituitary tumor.
  • Dynamic testing: A series of blood tests taken over several hours that help to evaluate pituitary gland function.
  • Inferior petrosal sinus sampling (IPSS): A state-of-the-art procedure offered at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi that allows physicians to obtain blood samples from the pituitary gland. This test is used for patients with high levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, but regulated by the pituitary gland.

Treatment of Pituitary Gland Disorders 

The caregivers in the Pituitary Disorders Program tailor treatments to best meet the needs of their patients. Some patients are prescribed medications to slow down the release of excess hormones from the pituitary gland. Other patients may need hormone replacement therapy because the pituitary gland is not making enough hormones. 

When patients need to undergo surgery to remove a cyst or tumor from their pituitary gland, endocrinologists and neurologists work together to coordinate the patient’s care. Patients may also be treated with medication before or after surgery.

Pituitary Disorders Program Caregivers

The Pituitary Disorders Program team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Medical Subspecialties Institute is composed of highly experienced, board-certified physicians aided by a dedicated team of nurses who perform endocrine testing.

Caregivers involved in patient care for this program include:

  • Endocrinologists
  • Neurologists
  • Surgeons
  • Nurses​