Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 13 items

Anna Popławska-Kita Departments of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

Search for other papers by Anna Popławska-Kita in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Marta Wielogórska Departments of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

Search for other papers by Marta Wielogórska in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Łukasz Poplawski Radiology, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

Search for other papers by Łukasz Poplawski in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Katarzyna Siewko Departments of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

Search for other papers by Katarzyna Siewko in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Agnieszka Adamska Departments of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

Search for other papers by Agnieszka Adamska in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Piotr Szumowski Departments of Nuclear Medicine, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

Search for other papers by Piotr Szumowski in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Piotr Myśliwiec 1st Clinic Department of General and Endocrine Surgery, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

Search for other papers by Piotr Myśliwiec in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Janusz Myśliwiec Departments of Nuclear Medicine, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

Search for other papers by Janusz Myśliwiec in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Joanna Reszeć Departments of Medical Pathomorphology, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

Search for other papers by Joanna Reszeć in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Grzegorz Kamiński Department of Endocrinology and Radioisotopy Therapy, Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland

Search for other papers by Grzegorz Kamiński in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Janusz Dzięcioł Departments of Human Anatomy, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland

Search for other papers by Janusz Dzięcioł in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Dorota Tobiaszewska Departments of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

Search for other papers by Dorota Tobiaszewska in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Małgorzata Szelachowska Departments of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

Search for other papers by Małgorzata Szelachowska in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Adam Jacek Krętowski Departments of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine

Search for other papers by Adam Jacek Krętowski in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Summary

Papillary thyroid gland carcinoma is the most common type of malignancy of the endocrine system. Metastases to the pituitary gland have been described as a complication of papillary thyroid cancer in few reported cases since 1965. We report the case of a 68-year-old female patient with a well-differentiated form of thyroid gland cancer. Despite it being the most common malignant cancer of the endocrine system, with its papillary form being one of the two most frequently diagnosed thyroid cancers, the case we present is extremely rare. Sudden cardiac arrest during ventricular fibrillation occurred during hospitalization. Autopsy of the patient revealed papillary carcinoma of the thyroid, follicular variant, with metastasis to the sella turcica, and concomitant sarcoidosis of heart, lung, and mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes. Not only does atypical metastasis make our patient’s case most remarkable, but also the postmortem diagnosis of sarcoidosis makes her case particularly unusual.

Learning points:

  • The goal of presenting this case is to raise awareness of the clinical heterogeneity of papillary cancer and promote early diagnosis of unexpected metastasis and coexisting diseases to improve clinical outcomes.

  • Clinicians must be skeptical. They should not fall into the trap of diagnostic momentum or accept diagnostic labels at face value. Regardless of the potential mechanisms, clinicians should be aware of the possibility of the coexistence of thyroid cancer and sarcoidosis as a differential diagnosis of lymphadenopathy.

  • This case highlights the importance of the diagnostic and therapeutic planning process and raises awareness of the fact that one uncommon disease could be masked by another extremely rare disorder.

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

Search for other papers by Michelle Maher in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Federico Roncaroli University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Search for other papers by Federico Roncaroli in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Nigel Mendoza Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Search for other papers by Nigel Mendoza in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Karim Meeran Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Search for other papers by Karim Meeran in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Natalie Canham Liverpool Womens NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK

Search for other papers by Natalie Canham in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Monika Kosicka-Slawinska London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Search for other papers by Monika Kosicka-Slawinska in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Birgitta Bernhard London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Search for other papers by Birgitta Bernhard in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
David Collier The William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Search for other papers by David Collier in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Juliana Drummond The William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Search for other papers by Juliana Drummond in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Kassiani Skordilis University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Mindelsohn Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Kassiani Skordilis in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Nicola Tufton The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London UK

Search for other papers by Nicola Tufton in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Anastasia Gontsarova Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Search for other papers by Anastasia Gontsarova in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Niamh Martin Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Search for other papers by Niamh Martin in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Márta Korbonits The William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Search for other papers by Márta Korbonits in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Florian Wernig Endocrinology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK

Search for other papers by Florian Wernig in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

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
Anne de Bray Department of Endocrinology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Institute for Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Anne de Bray in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Zaki K Hassan-Smith Department of Endocrinology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Zaki K Hassan-Smith in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Jamal Dirie Department of Endocrinology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Jamal Dirie in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Edward Littleton Departments of Neurology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Edward Littleton in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Swarupsinh Chavda Departments of Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Swarupsinh Chavda in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
John Ayuk Department of Endocrinology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by John Ayuk in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Paul Sanghera Departments of Oncology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Paul Sanghera in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Niki Karavitaki Department of Endocrinology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham, UK
Institute for Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Niki Karavitaki in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Summary

A 48-year-old man was diagnosed with a large macroprolactinoma in 1982 treated with surgery, adjuvant radiotherapy and bromocriptine. Normal prolactin was achieved in 2005 but in 2009 it started rising. Pituitary MRIs in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2015 were reported as showing empty pituitary fossa. Prolactin continued to increase (despite increasing bromocriptine dose). Trialling cabergoline had no effect (prolactin 191,380 mU/L). In January 2016, he presented with right facial weakness and CT head was reported as showing no acute intracranial abnormality. In late 2016, he was referred to ENT with hoarse voice; left hypoglossal and recurrent laryngeal nerve palsies were found. At this point, prolactin was 534,176 mU/L. Just before further endocrine review, he had a fall and CT head showed a basal skull mass invading the left petrous temporal bone. Pituitary MRI revealed a large enhancing mass within the sella infiltrating the clivus, extending into the left petrous apex and occipital condyle with involvement of the left Meckel’s cave, internal acoustic meatus, jugular foramen and hypoglossal canal. At that time, left abducens nerve palsy was also present. CT thorax/abdomen/pelvis excluded malignancy. Review of previous images suggested that this lesion had started becoming evident below the fossa in pituitary MRI of 2015. Temozolomide was initiated. After eight cycles, there is significant tumour reduction with prolactin 1565 mU/L and cranial nerve deficits have remained stable. Prolactinomas can manifest aggressive behaviour even decades after initial treatment highlighting the unpredictable clinical course they can demonstrate and the need for careful imaging review.

Learning points:

  • Aggressive behaviour of prolactinomas can manifest even decades after first treatment highlighting the unpredictable clinical course these tumours can demonstrate.

  • Escape from control of hyperprolactinaemia in the absence of sellar adenomatous tissue requires careful and systematic search for the anatomical localisation of the lesion responsible for the prolactin excess.

  • Temozolomide is a valuable agent in the therapeutic armamentarium for aggressive/invasive prolactinomas, particularly if they are not amenable to other treatment modalities.

Open access
Carlos Tavares Bello Endocrinology Department, Hospital de Egas Moniz, Lisbon, Portugal

Search for other papers by Carlos Tavares Bello in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Patricia Cipriano
Search for other papers by Patricia Cipriano in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Vanessa Henriques
Search for other papers by Vanessa Henriques in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
João Sequeira Duarte
Search for other papers by João Sequeira Duarte in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Conceição Canas Marques
Search for other papers by Conceição Canas Marques in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Summary

Granular cell tumours (GCT) are rare, slow-growing, benign neoplasms that are usually located in the head and neck. They are more frequent in the female gender and typically have an asymptomatic clinical course, being diagnosed only at autopsy. Symptomatic GCT of the neurohypophysis are exceedingly rare, being less than 70 cases described so far. The authors report on a case of a 28-year-old male that presented to the Endocrinology clinic with clinical and biochemical evidence of hypogonadism. He also reported minor headaches without any major visual symptoms. Further laboratory tests confirmed hypopituitarism (hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, central hypothyroidism and hypocortisolism) and central nervous system imaging revealed a pituitary macroadenoma. The patient underwent transcranial pituitary adenoma resection and the pathology report described a GCT of the neurohypophysis with low mitotic index. The reported case is noteworthy for the rarity of the clinicopathological entity.

Learning points:

  • Symptomatic GCTs are rare CNS tumours whose cell of origin is not well defined that usually give rise to visual symptoms, headache and endocrine dysfunction.

  • Imaging is quite unspecific and diagnosis is difficult to establish preoperatively.

  • Surgical excision is challenging due to lesion’s high vascularity and propensity to adhere to adjacent structures.

  • The reported case is noteworthy for the rarity of the clinicopathological entity.

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

Search for other papers by Athanasios Fountas in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
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

Search for other papers by Shu Teng Chai in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
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

Search for other papers by John Ayuk in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
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

Search for other papers by Neil Gittoes in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Swarupsinh Chavda Departments of Radiology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Swarupsinh Chavda in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
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

Search for other papers by Niki Karavitaki in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

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.

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

Search for other papers by Syed Ali Imran in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Khaled A Aldahmani Division of Endocrinology, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

Search for other papers by Khaled A Aldahmani in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Lynette Penney Department of Pediatrics, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

Search for other papers by Lynette Penney in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Sidney E Croul Department of Pathology, Tawam Hospial, Al-Ain, UAE

Search for other papers by Sidney E Croul in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
David B Clarke Department of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Search for other papers by David B Clarke in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
David M Collier Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Search for other papers by David M Collier in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Donato Iacovazzo Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Search for other papers by Donato Iacovazzo in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Márta Korbonits Centre for Endocrinology, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Search for other papers by Márta Korbonits in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

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
Emilia Sbardella Department of Endocrinology, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Search for other papers by Emilia Sbardella in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
George Farah Department of Endocrinology, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Search for other papers by George Farah in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Ahmed Fathelrahman Department of Endocrinology, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Search for other papers by Ahmed Fathelrahman in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Simon Cudlip Department of Neurological Surgery

Search for other papers by Simon Cudlip in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Olaf Ansorge Department of Neuropathology, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Search for other papers by Olaf Ansorge in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Niki Karavitaki Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham and Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham Health Partner, Birmingham, UK

Search for other papers by Niki Karavitaki in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Ashley B Grossman Department of Endocrinology, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Search for other papers by Ashley B Grossman in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Summary

Pituitary adenomas are a common intracranial neoplasm, usually demonstrating a benign phenotype. They can be classified according to pathological, radiological or clinical behaviour as typical, atypical or carcinomas, invasive or noninvasive, and aggressive or nonaggressive. Prolactinomas account for 40–60% of all pituitary adenomas, with dopamine agonists representing the first-line treatment and surgery/radiotherapy reserved for drug intolerance/resistance or in neuro-ophthalmological emergencies. We present the case of a 62-year-old man with an apparently indolent prolactin-secreting macroadenoma managed with partial resection and initially showing a biochemical response to cabergoline. Five years later, the tumour became resistant to cabergoline, despite a substantial increase in dosage, showing rapid growth and causing worsening of vision. The patient then underwent two further transsphenoidal operations and continued on high-dose cabergoline; despite these interventions, the tumour continued enlarging and prolactin increased to 107 269 U/L. Histology of the third surgical specimen demonstrated features of aggressive behaviour (atypical adenoma with a high cell proliferation index) not present in the tumour removed at the first operation. Subsequently, he was referred for radiotherapy aiming to control tumour growth.

Learning points:

  • The development of secondary resistance to dopamine agonists (DAs) is a serious sign as it may be associated with de-differentiation of the prolactinoma and thus of aggressive or malignant transformation.

  • Significant de-differentiation of the adenoma documented on consecutive histologies suggests a possible transition to malignancy.

  • A combination of histological ‘alarm’ features associated with persistent growth and escape from DAs treatment in recurrent adenomas should alert clinicians and demands close follow-up.

  • A multidisciplinary approach by pathologists, endocrinologists and neurosurgeons is essential.

Open access
Ekaterina Manuylova Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Search for other papers by Ekaterina Manuylova in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Laura M Calvi Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Search for other papers by Laura M Calvi in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Catherine Hastings Department of Neurosurgery

Search for other papers by Catherine Hastings in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
G Edward Vates Department of Neurosurgery

Search for other papers by G Edward Vates in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Mahlon D Johnson Department of Pathology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

Search for other papers by Mahlon D Johnson in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
William T Cave Jr Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Search for other papers by William T Cave Jr in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Ismat Shafiq Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Search for other papers by Ismat Shafiq in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Summary

Co-secretion of growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL) from a single pituitary adenoma is common. In fact, up to 25% of patients with acromegaly may have PRL co-secretion. The prevalence of acromegaly among patients with a newly diagnosed prolactinoma is unknown. Given the possibility of mixed GH and PRL co-secretion, the current recommendation is to obtain an insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in patients with prolactinoma at the initial diagnosis. Long-term follow-up of IGF-1 is not routinely done. Here, we report two cases of well-controlled prolactinoma on dopamine agonists with the development of acromegaly 10–20 years after the initial diagnoses. In both patients, a mixed PRL/GH-cosecreting adenoma was confirmed on the pathology examination after transsphenoidal surgery (TSS). Therefore, periodic routine measurements of IGF-1 should be considered regardless of the duration and biochemical control of prolactinoma.

Learning points:

  • Acromegaly can develop in patients with well-controlled prolactinoma on dopamine agonists.

  • The interval between prolactinoma and acromegaly diagnoses can be several decades.

  • Periodic screening of patients with prolactinoma for growth hormone excess should be considered and can 
lead to an early diagnosis of acromegaly before the development of complications.

Open access
Derick Adams Division of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Search for other papers by Derick Adams in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Philip A Kern Division of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Search for other papers by Philip A Kern in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Summary

Pituitary abscess is a relatively uncommon cause of pituitary hormone deficiencies and/or a suprasellar mass. Risk factors for pituitary abscess include prior surgery, irradiation and/or pathology of the suprasellar region as well as underlying infections. We present the case of a 22-year-old female presenting with a spontaneous pituitary abscess in the absence of risk factors described previously. Her initial presentation included headache, bitemporal hemianopia, polyuria, polydipsia and amenorrhoea. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her pituitary showed a suprasellar mass. As the patient did not have any risk factors for pituitary abscess or symptoms of infection, the diagnosis was not suspected preoperatively. She underwent transsphenoidal resection and purulent material was seen intraoperatively. Culture of the surgical specimen showed two species of alpha hemolytic Streptococcus, Staphylococcus capitis and Prevotella melaninogenica. Urine and blood cultures, dental radiographs and transthoracic echocardiogram failed to show any source of infection that could have caused the pituitary abscess. The patient was treated with 6weeks of oral metronidazole and intravenous vancomycin. After 6weeks of transsphenoidal resection and just after completion of antibiotic therapy, her headache and bitemporal hemianopsia resolved. However, nocturia and polydipsia from central diabetes insipidus and amenorrhoea from hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism persisted.

Learning points

  • Pituitary abscesses typically develop in patients who have other sources of infection or disruption of the normal suprasellar anatomy by either surgery, irradiation or pre-existing pathology; however, they can develop in the absence of known risk factors.

  • Patients with pituitary abscesses typically complain of headache, visual changes and symptoms of pituitary hormone deficiencies.

  • As other pituitary neoplasms present with similar clinical findings, the diagnosis of pituitary abscess is often not suspected until transsphenoidal resection is performed.

  • Prompt surgical and medical treatment of pituitary abscess is necessary, which typically results in improvement in headache and visual changes; however, pituitary hormone deficiencies are typically often permanent.

Open access
Fergus Keane Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital Galway, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland

Search for other papers by Fergus Keane in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Aoife M Egan Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital Galway, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland
School of Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland

Search for other papers by Aoife M Egan in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Patrick Navin Department of Radiology, University Hospital Galway, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland

Search for other papers by Patrick Navin in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Francesca Brett Department of Pathology, Beaumont Hospital, Beaumont Road, Dublin 9, Ireland

Search for other papers by Francesca Brett in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Michael C Dennedy Department of Endocrinology, University Hospital Galway, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland
School of Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, Newcastle, Galway, Ireland

Search for other papers by Michael C Dennedy in
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Summary

Pituitary apoplexy represents an uncommon endocrine emergency with potentially life-threatening consequences. Drug-induced pituitary apoplexy is a rare but important consideration when evaluating patients with this presentation. We describe an unusual case of a patient with a known pituitary macroadenoma presenting with acute-onset third nerve palsy and headache secondary to tumour enlargement and apoplexy. This followed gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GNRH) agonist therapy used to treat metastatic prostate carcinoma. Following acute management, the patient underwent transphenoidal debulking of his pituitary gland with resolution of his third nerve palsy. Subsequent retrospective data interpretation revealed that this had been a secretory gonadotropinoma and GNRH agonist therapy resulted in raised gonadotropins and testosterone. Hence, further management of his prostate carcinoma required GNRH antagonist therapy and external beam radiotherapy. This case demonstrates an uncommon complication of GNRH agonist therapy in the setting of a pituitary macroadenoma. It also highlights the importance of careful, serial data interpretation in patients with pituitary adenomas. Finally, this case presents a unique insight into the challenges of managing a hormonal-dependent prostate cancer in a patient with a secretory pituitary tumour.

Learning points

  • While non-functioning gonadotropinomas represent the most common form of pituitary macroadenoma, functioning gonadotropinomas are exceedingly rare.

  • Acute tumour enlargement, with potential pituitary apoplexy, is a rare but important adverse effect arising from GNRH agonist therapy in the presence of both functioning and non-functioning pituitary gonadotropinomas.

  • GNRH antagonist therapy represents an alternative treatment option for patients with hormonal therapy-requiring prostate cancer, who also have diagnosed with a pituitary gonadotropinoma.

Open access