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Daniela Regazzo Department of Medicine DIMED, Endocrinology Unit, University Hospital of Padova, Padova, Italy

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Marina Paola Gardiman Department of Medicine DIMED, Surgical Pathology & Cytopathology Unit, University Hospital of Padova, Padova, Italy

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Marily Theodoropoulou Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, Klinikum der Universität München, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany

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Carla Scaroni Department of Medicine DIMED, Endocrinology Unit, University Hospital of Padova, Padova, Italy

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Gianluca Occhi Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy

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Filippo Ceccato Department of Medicine DIMED, Endocrinology Unit, University Hospital of Padova, Padova, Italy

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Summary

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant multisystem hereditary cutaneous condition, characterized by multiple hamartomas. In rare cases, pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs) have been described in patients with TSC, but the causal relationship between these two diseases is still under debate. TSC is mostly caused by mutations of two tumor suppressor genes, encoding for hamartin (TSC1) and tuberin (TSC2), controlling cell growth and proliferation. Here, we present the case of a 62-year-old Caucasian woman with TSC and a silent gonadotroph PitNET with suprasellar extension, treated with transsphenoidal endoscopic neurosurgery with complete resection. Therapeutic approaches based on mTOR signaling (i.e. everolimus) have been successfully used in patients with TSC and tested in non-functioning PitNET cellular models with promising results. Here, we observed a reduction of cell viability after an in vitro treatment of PitNET’s derived primary cells with everolimus. TSC analysis retrieved no disease-associated variants with the exception of the heterozygous intronic variant c.4006-71C>T found in TSC2: the computational tools predicted a gain of a new splice site with consequent intron retention, not confirmed by an in vitro analysis of patient’s lymphocyte-derived RNA. Further analyses are therefore needed to provide insights on the possible mechanisms involving the hamartin-tuberin complex in the pathogenesis of pituitary adenomas. However, our data further support previous observations of an antiproliferative effect of everolimus on PitNET.

Learning points:

  • Pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNET) in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) are rare: only few cases have been reported in literature.

  • Therapeutic approach related to mTOR signaling, such as everolimus, may be used in some patients with PitNETs as well as those with TSC.

  • We reported a woman with both non-secreting PitNET and TSC; PitNET was surgically removed and classified as a silent gonadotroph tumor.

  • Everolimus treatment in PitNET’s-derived primary cells revealed a significant decrease in cell viability.

  • Considering our case and available evidence, it is still unclear whether a PitNET is a part of TSC or just a coincidental tumor.

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Shunsuke Funazaki Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan

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Hodaka Yamada Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan

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Kazuo Hara Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan

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San-e Ishikawa Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, International University of Health and Welfare Hospital, Tochigi, Japan

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Summary

Lymphocytic hypophysitis (LyH) has been known to be associated with pregnancy. We herein report the case of a 33-year-old woman who underwent vaginal delivery without massive bleeding at 40 weeks of gestation. Because of the presence of headache and terrible fatigue after childbirth, she visited our hospital. Severe hyponatremia (Na, 118 mEq/L) and visual field abnormality was noted upon examination. MRI revealed pituitary enlargement with a swollen pituitary stalk, albeit at low signal intensity. Basal pituitary hormone levels were all reduced and remained low after exogenous administration of hypothalamic-releasing hormones. She was diagnosed with LyH and was started on prednisolone 60 mg/day. A month later, her pituitary function had gradually improved together with a decrease in pituitary enlargement and recovery of her visual field. The dose of prednisolone was gradually reduced and finally withdrawn 27 months later. After prednisolone withdrawal, her pituitary function remained normal despite the absence of any hormonal replacement. A year later, she became pregnant without medication and delivered a second baby without LyH recurrence. Thereafter, her pituitary function has been normal for more than 5 years. Two valuable observations can be highlighted from the case. First, the patient completely recovered from LyH through prompt prednisolone therapy during its initial phase and had almost normal pituitary function. Second, after recovery from LyH, she was able to undergo spontaneous pregnancy and deliver a baby. We believe that reporting incidences of spontaneous pregnancy after complete normalization of pituitary function in patients with LyH is of great significance.

Learning points:

  • Females are more affected by LyH than males given its strong association with pregnancy.

  • LyH possesses characteristic findings on pituitary MRI.

  • Glucocorticoid therapy for LyH has been recommended as an effective treatment.

  • A history of previous pregnancies does not increase the risk of developing AH in subsequent pregnancies.

  • Early induction of high-dose prednisolone was therapeutically effective in treating LyH.

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Michelle Maher Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

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Federico Roncaroli University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

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Nigel Mendoza Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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Karim Meeran Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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Natalie Canham Liverpool Womens NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

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Monika Kosicka-Slawinska London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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Birgitta Bernhard London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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David Collier The William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Juliana Drummond The William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Kassiani Skordilis University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Mindelsohn Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

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Nicola Tufton The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London UK

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Anastasia Gontsarova Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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Niamh Martin Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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Márta Korbonits The William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Florian Wernig Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

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Summary

Symptomatic pituitary adenomas occur with a prevalence of approximately 0.1% in the general population. It is estimated that 5% of pituitary adenomas occur in a familial setting, either in isolated or syndromic form. Recently, loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding succinate dehydrogenase subunits (SDHx) or MYC-associated factor X (MAX) have been found to predispose to pituitary adenomas in co-existence with paragangliomas or phaeochromocytomas. It is rare, however, for a familial SDHx mutation to manifest as an isolated pituitary adenoma. We present the case of a pituitary lactotroph adenoma in a patient with a heterozygous germline SDHB mutation, in the absence of concomitant neoplasms. Initially, the adenoma showed biochemical response but poor tumour shrinkage in response to cabergoline; therefore, transsphenoidal surgery was performed. Following initial clinical improvement, tumour recurrence was identified 15 months later. Interestingly, re-initiation of cabergoline proved successful and the lesion demonstrated both biochemical response and tumour shrinkage. Our patient’s SDHB mutation was identified when we realised that her father had a metastatic paraganglioma, prompting genetic testing. Re-inspection of the histopathological report of the prolactinoma confirmed cells with vacuolated cytoplasm. This histological feature is suggestive of an SDHx mutation and should prompt further screening for mutations by immunohistochemistry and/or genetic testing. Surprisingly, immunohistochemistry of this pituitary adenoma demonstrated normal SDHB expression, despite loss of SDHB expression in the patient’s father’s paraganglioma.

Learning points:

  • Pituitary adenomas may be the presenting and/or sole feature of SDHB mutation-related disease.

  • SDHx mutated pituitary adenomas may display clinically aggressive behaviour and demonstrate variable response to medical treatment.

  • Histological evidence of intracytoplasmic vacuoles in a pituitary adenoma might suggest an SDH-deficient tumour and should prompt further screening for SDHx mutations.

  • Immunohistochemistry may not always predict the presence of SDHx mutations.

Open access
Athanasios Fountas Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Shu Teng Chai Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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John Ayuk Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Neil Gittoes Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Swarupsinh Chavda Departments of Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Niki Karavitaki Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Departments of Endocrinology and Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

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Summary

Co-existence of craniopharyngioma and acromegaly has been very rarely reported. A 65-year-old man presented with visual deterioration, fatigue and frontal headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a suprasellar heterogeneous, mainly cystic, 1.9 × 2 × 1.9 cm mass compressing the optic chiasm and expanding to the third ventricle; the findings were consistent with a craniopharyngioma. Pituitary hormone profile showed hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, mildly elevated prolactin, increased insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and normal thyroid function and cortisol reserve. The patient had transsphenoidal surgery and pathology of the specimen was diagnostic of adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma. Post-operatively, he had diabetes insipidus, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and adrenocorticotropic hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone deficiency. Despite the hypopituitarism, his IGF-1 levels remained elevated and subsequent oral glucose tolerance test did not show complete growth hormone (GH) suppression. Further review of the pre-operative imaging revealed a 12 × 4 mm pituitary adenoma close to the right carotid artery and no signs of pituitary hyperplasia. At that time, he was also diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the left upper lung lobe finally managed with radical radiotherapy. Treatment with long-acting somatostatin analogue was initiated leading to biochemical control of the acromegaly. Latest imaging has shown no evidence of craniopharyngioma regrowth and stable adenoma. This is a unique case report of co-existence of craniopharyngioma, acromegaly and squamous lung cell carcinoma that highlights diagnostic and management challenges. Potential effects of the GH hypersecretion on the co-existent tumours of this patient are also briefly discussed.

Learning points:

  • Although an extremely rare clinical scenario, craniopharyngioma and acromegaly can co-exist; aetiopathogenic link between these two conditions is unlikely.

  • Meticulous review of unexpected biochemical findings is vital for correct diagnosis of dual pituitary pathology.

  • The potential adverse impact of GH excess due to acromegaly in a patient with craniopharyngioma (and other neoplasm) mandates adequate biochemical control of the GH hypersecretion.

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Syed Ali Imran Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Khaled A Aldahmani Division of Endocrinology, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

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Lynette Penney Department of Pediatrics, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

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Sidney E Croul Department of Pathology, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

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David B Clarke Department of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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David M Collier Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Donato Iacovazzo Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Márta Korbonits Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Summary

Early-onset acromegaly causing gigantism is often associated with aryl-hydrocarbon-interacting receptor protein (AIP) mutation, especially if there is a positive family history. A15y male presented with tiredness and visual problems. He was 201 cm tall with a span of 217 cm. He had typical facial features of acromegaly, elevated IGF-1, secondary hypogonadism and a large macroadenoma. His paternal aunt had a history of acromegaly presenting at the age of 35 years. Following transsphenoidal surgery, his IGF-1 normalized and clinical symptoms improved. He was found to have a novel AIP mutation destroying the stop codon c.991T>C; p.*331R. Unexpectedly, his father and paternal aunt were negative for this mutation while his mother and older sister were unaffected carriers, suggesting that his aunt represents a phenocopy.

Learning points:

  • Typical presentation for a patient with AIP mutation with excess growth and eunuchoid proportions.

  • Unusual, previously not described AIP variant with loss of the stop codon.

  • Phenocopy may occur in families with a disease-causing germline mutation.

Open access
Cristina Alvarez-Escola Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain

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Jersy Cardenas-Salas Department of Endocrinology and Nutrition, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain

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Summary

In patients with active acromegaly after pituitary surgery, somatostatin analogues are effective in controlling the disease and can even be curative in some cases. After treatment discontinuation, the likelihood of disease recurrence is high. However, a small subset of patients remains symptom-free after discontinuation, with normalized growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF1) levels. The characteristics of patients most likely to achieve sustained remission after treatment discontinuation are not well understood, although limited evidence suggests that sustained remission is more likely in patients with lower GH and IGF1 levels before treatment withdrawal, in those who respond well to low-dose treatment, in those without evidence of adenoma on an MRI scan and/or in patients who receive long-term treatment. In this report, we describe the case of a 56-year-old female patient treated with lanreotide Autogel for 11 years. Treatment was successfully discontinued, and the patient is currently disease-free on all relevant parameters (clinical, biochemical and tumour status). The successful outcome in this case adds to the small body of literature suggesting that some well-selected patients who receive long-term treatment with somatostatin analogues may achieve sustained remission.

Learning points:

  • The probability of disease recurrence is high after discontinuation of treatment with somatostatin analogues.

  • Current data indicate that remission after treatment discontinuation may be more likely in patients with low GH and IGF1 levels before treatment withdrawal, in those who respond well to low-dose treatment, in those without evidence of adenoma on MRI, and/or in patients receiving prolonged treatment.

  • This case report suggests that prolonged treatment with somatostatin analogues can be curative in carefully selected patients.

Open access
J Bukowczan Regional Pituitary Tumour Service, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, UK

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K Lois Regional Pituitary Tumour Service, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, UK

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M Mathiopoulou Regional Pituitary Tumour Service, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, UK

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A B Grossman Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX3 7LE, UK

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R A James Regional Pituitary Tumour Service, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, UK

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Summary

Giant prolactinomas are rare tumours of the pituitary, which typically exceed 40 mm in their largest dimension. Impairment of higher cognitive function has been noted post-operatively after transcranial surgery and as a long-term consequence of the radiotherapy treatment. However, there has been little that is reported on such disturbances in relation to the tumour per se, and to our knowledge, there has been none in terms of responsivity to dopamine agonist therapy and shrinkage in these tumours. We present a case of successful restoration of severely impaired cognitive functions achieved safely after significant adenoma involution with medical treatment alone.

Learning points

  • Giant prolactinomas can be present with profound cognitive defects.

  • Dopamine agonists remain in the mainstay first-line treatment of giant prolactinomas.

  • Mechanisms of the reversible cognitive impairment associated with giant prolactinoma treatment appear to be complex and remain open to further studies.

  • Young patients with giant prolactinomas mandate genetic testing towards familial predisposition.

Open access
Hanna Remde
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Elke Kaminsky Laboratory for Molecular Genetics, Hamburg, Germany

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Mathias Werner Institute of Pathology, HELIOS Klinikum Emil von Behring, Stiftung Oskar-Helene-Heim, Berlin, Germany

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Marcus Quinkler Endocrinology in Charlottenburg, Stuttgarter Platz 1, Berlin, D 10627, Germany

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Summary

We report of a male patient aged 32 years who presented with primary hyperparathyroidism. Three parathyroid glands were resected. At the age of 46 years, nervus facialis irritation was noted, and an MRI scan incidentally revealed a non-functioning pituitary adenoma with affection of the chiasma opticum. The patient underwent transsphenoidal operation resulting in pituitary insufficiency postoperatively. At the same time, primary hyperparathyroidism reoccurred and a parathyroid adenoma located at the thymus was resected. The mother of the patient died early due to multiple tumors. The patient was suspected to have multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and genetic analysis was performed. In addition, on clinical examination, multiple exostoses were noticed and an additional genetic analysis was performed. His father was reported to have multiple osteochondromas too. MEN1 was diagnosed in the patient showing a novel heterozygote mutation c.2T>A in exon 2, codon 1 (start codon ATG>AAG;p.Met1?) of the MEN1 gene. In genetic mutational analysis of the EXT1 gene, another not yet known mutation c.1418-2A>C was found in intron 5 of the EXT1 gene (heterozygotic). In conclusion, we report novel mutations of the EXT1 and the MEN1 genes causing hereditary multiple osteochondromas and MEN1 in one patient.

Learning points

  • It is important to ask for the patient's family history in detail.

  • Patients with MEN1 are characterized by the occurrence of tumors in multiple endocrine tissues and nonendocrine tissues, most frequently parathyroid (95%), enteropancreatic neuroendocrine (50%), and anterior pituitary (40%) tissues.

  • Familiar MEN1 has a high degree of penetrance (80–95%) by the age over 50; however, combinations of the tumors may be different in members of the same family.

  • Patients with EXT1 gene mutations should be monitored for possible transformation of bone lesions into osteochondrosarcoma.

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Stephanie Teasdale Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Fahid Hashem Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Sarah Olson Department of Neurosurgery, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Benjamin Ong Department of Radiology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Warrick J Inder Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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Summary

A case of recurrent pituitary apoplexy is described in a 72-year-old man who initially presented with haemorrhage in a non-functioning pituitary adenoma. Five years later, he re-presented with a severe pituitary haemorrhage in an enlarging sellar mass invading both cavernous sinuses causing epistaxis and bilateral ocular paresis. Subsequent histology was consistent with a sellar malignant spindle and round cell neoplasm. Multiple pituitary tumours have previously been reported to coexist in the same individual, but to our knowledge this is the only case where two pathologically distinct pituitary neoplasms have sequentially arisen in a single patient. This case is also notable with respect to the progressive ocular paresis, including bilateral abducens nerve palsies, and the presentation with epistaxis.

Learning points

  • Ocular paresis in pituitary apoplexy can result from tumour infiltration of nerves, or by indirect compression via increased intrasellar pressure.

  • Epistaxis is a very rare presentation of a pituitary lesion.

  • Epistaxis more commonly occurs following trans-sphenoidal surgery, and can be delayed.

Open access