[en] Pituitary adenomas are one of the most frequent intracranial tumors. Usually, they are benign but are of great clinical significance because of tumor compression syndrome and hormone overproduction. The interest in this pathology is increasing, particularly after some recent reports on their prevalence that proved to be 3-5 times more than previously estimated. Pituitary tumors arise in a sporadic setting and rarely as part of hereditary genetic syndromes. Such rare hereditary conditions like MEN1, Carney complex and McCune-Albright syndrome give significant insight into pituitary tumorigenesis. Newer genes associated pituitary tumor development include CDKN1B (MEN4) and AIP, the latter of which is involved in the pathophysiology of 15% of FIPA kindreds. The number of genes involved in pituitary tumorigenesis is progressively increasing and the possible mechanisms of action include signal transduction pathways, cell cycle regulators, growth factors, chromosome instability and others. Nevertheless, in the majority of sporadic adenomas, the primary genetic defect remains unknown. Furthermore, there is not a well established relationship between the genotype and its influence on the protein expression, ligand-receptor interaction, tumor growth or hormone hyperproduction. Further studies should evaluate the clinical significance of genetic alterations and their implications for existing and new therapeutic options.