PNA Medical Corner: Endocrinology in the Era of COVID-19


An article co-written by PNA member Dr. Maria Fleseriu, an endocrinologist at Oregon Health Sciences University, makes recommendations on how to maintain and even improve patient outcomes despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Eur J Endocrinol. 2020 May 1. pii: EJE-20-0473. doi: 10.1530/EJE-20-0473. [Epub ahead of print]

Endocrinology in the time of COVID-19: Management of pituitary tumours.

Fleseriu M1, Karavitaki N2, Dekkers OM3.

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Patients with pituitary tumours, ensuing hormonal abnormalities and mass effects are usually followed in multidisciplinary pituitary clinics and can represent a management challenge even during times of non-pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has put on hold routine medical care for hundreds of millions of patients around the globe, while many pituitary patients' evaluations cannot be delayed for too long. Furthermore, the majority of patients with pituitary tumours have co-morbidities potentially impacting the course and management of COVID-19 (e.g. hypopituitarism, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease). Here, we summarize some of the diagnostic and management dilemmas for these patients, and we provide guidance on safe and as effective as possible delivery of care in the COVID-19 era. We also attempt to address how pituitary services should be remodeled in the event of similar crises, while maintaining or even improving patient outcomes. Regular review of these recommendations and further adjustments are needed, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic status. We consider that utilization of successful models of pituitary multidisciplinary care implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic should continue after the crisis is over by using the valuable and exceptional experience gained during these challenging times.