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Call to establish 'Centers of Excellence' for pituitary diseases
Date:11/20/2012

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The idea of a CoE designation reflects specialized skills and expertise needed to provide top-level care for patients with particular types of problems. Perhaps the best-known example is the designation of level I to IV trauma centers, based on criteria such as the volume of severely injured patients treated, levels of specialist staffing, and the presence of educational and outreach programs.

The authors believe it's time for a similar approach to identifying hospitals and medical centers with the capacity to provide optimal clinical management for patients with pituitary tumors. Care is best provided in a "multidisciplinary collaborative environment," including neurosurgeons and endocrinologists with special experience in managing pituitary disorders. The treatment team should also include a wide range of other medical and surgical subspecialists who play important roles in managing these complex cases, such as neuro-ophthalmologists, radiation oncologists and otolaryngologists (ENT).

The call for a CoE designation reflects the rapid evolution of highly specialized surgical techniques for pituitary tumors, known as transsphenoidal surgery, increasingly performed with endoscopy, as well as new medical approaches to treating the hormonal abnormalities these tumors can produce. Advances in radiology and pathology have also raised the standard of skills needed for diagnosis and management.

As with other advanced surgical procedures, studies have shown that centers performing a larger volume of transsphenoidal surgeries achieve better outcomes with lower complication rates. Such high levels of volume and expertise are also essential for training the next generation of pituitary surgeons, who may not be getting the experience they need at some residency programs.

"[O]ptimal care for pituitary patients is best provided by experienced practitioners, working in a collaborative environment using state-of-the-art techniques an
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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