OBJECTIVE: We analyzed the clinical and endocrinological results of the transsphenoidal microsurgery for ACTH secreting pituitary adenomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From October 1995 to August 2000, 18 patients underwent transsphenoidal microsurgery for Cushing's disease. We analyzed the surgical results of 17 patients, one patient who was previously operated from other hospital was excluded. Age of the patients were 18 to 61 years old(mean 37.7), male to female ratio was 1: 3.3, and follow-up period was 3 to 50 months(mean 20.3). The selection of candidates for transsphenoidal exploration was based on endocrinologic criteria. Magnetic resonance imaging was the preferred radiologic test. Selective inferior petrosal sinus sampling of adrenocorticotropic hormone futher refined the diagnosis when endocrinologic and radiologic procedures were not definitive. RESULTS: Results of the preoperative endocrinological test were: level of serum ACTH 29.4 to 225ng/dL(mean 93.88ng/dL); serum cortisol 11.9 to 47.5ng/dL(mean 27.49ng/dL); 24-hour urine free cortisol 235 to 1019ng/day(mean 571.0ng/day). Inferior petrosal sinus sampling for ACTH was performed in 11 patients and all were confirmed by Cushing's disease and we could predict the laterality of the tumor in 9 of 11 patients. We performed transsphenoidal selective adenomectomy in 5 patients, adenomectomy and subtotal hypophysectomy in 2 patients, adenomectomy and partial hypophysectomy in 9 patients, and in the remaining one patient, hemihypophysectomy followed by total hypophysectomy due to remission failure. Fifteen of 17 patients(88.2%) showed endocrinological remission. Glucocorticoid replacement therapy was performed in all the patients who showed remission for 1 to 24 months(mean 5.9 months), and 6 patients received steroid over 6 months. CONCLUSION: We conclude that the direct demonstration of a tumor in the pituitary gland by MRI is the most important and definitive diagnostic tool and the location of a mass should be confirmed with increased level of ACTH by the inferior petrosal sinus sampling. Transsphenoidal microsurgery is effective treatment modality for Cushing's disease and the immediate postoperative evaluation of the surgical resection of the tumor is very important. The patients should show hypocortisolism, decreased, subnormal serum ACTH and cortisol levels and 24-hours urine free cortisol. We performed 18 transsphenoidal microsurgery for Cushing's disease in 17 patients and 15 patients(88.2%) showed endocrinological remission.