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Noor Alnasrallah Department of Internal Medicine, Adan Hospital, Kuwait

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Khaled Aljenaee Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrine and diabetes division, Adan Hospital, Kuwait

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Maryam AlMurshed Department of Laboratory Medicine, Anatomical Pathology/Neuropathology Division, Sabah Hospital, Kuwait

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Sulaiman Hajji Department of Internal Medicine, Endocrine and diabetes division, Adan Hospital, Kuwait

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Summary

Gonadotroph adenomas are the most common type of nonfunctional pituitary adenomas. However, functioning gonadotroph adenomas causing clinical manifestations are rare. We present the case of a 42-year-old man with an incidental finding of a pituitary gland mass. A pituitary MRI revealed a 3 cm macroadenoma, and laboratory investigations revealed elevated follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and total testosterone levels. A diagnosis of functioning FSH-secreting pituitary adenoma was considered, with possible concomitant luteinizing hormone secretion, given the elevated testosterone, prompting further evaluation. Testicular ultrasound showed bilaterally enlarged testicles, and visual field testing revealed a monocular superior temporal defect. Transsphenoidal resection of pituitary adenoma was the treatment of choice. Histopathology assessment confirmed the diagnosis of gonadotroph-secreting adenoma, with positive staining for FSH. Within the 12-week postoperative period, FSH and testosterone levels normalized, and the patient experienced significant improvement in vision, along with the resolution of macroorchidism. While functional gonadotroph adenomas are rare, patients can present with a wide range of symptoms that are often unnoticeable due to their slow development. Careful evaluation can help guide multidisciplinary management to achieve full remission.

Learning points

  • Endocrine evaluation is indicated in all cases of pituitary incidentalomas to determine functional status.

  • Clinically functioning gonadotroph adenomas, while rare, pose a diagnostic challenge and require careful clinical evaluation.

  • Transsphenoidal surgery is the mainstay of treatment of functioning gonadotroph adenomas, with the involvement of a multidisciplinary team to achieve desirable outcomes.

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Khaled Aljenaee Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Sulaiman Ali Departments of Endocrinology

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Seong Keat Cheah Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Owen MacEneaney Histopathology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Niall Mulligan Histopathology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Neil Hickey Department of Radiology, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Tommy Kyaw Tun Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Seamus Sreenan Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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John H McDermott Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Markedly elevated androgen levels can lead to clinical virilization in females. Clinical features of virilization in a female patient, in association with biochemical hyperandrogenism, should prompt a search for an androgen-producing tumor, especially of ovarian or adrenal origin. We herein report the case of a 60-year-old woman of Pakistani origin who presented with the incidental finding of male pattern baldness and hirsutism. Her serum testosterone level was markedly elevated at 21 nmol/L (normal range: 0.4–1.7 nmol/L), while her DHEAS level was normal, indicating a likely ovarian source of her elevated testosterone. Subsequently, a CT abdomen-pelvis was performed, which revealed a bulky right ovary, confirmed on MRI of the pelvis as an enlarged right ovary, measuring 2.9 × 2.2 cm transaxially. A laparoscopic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy was performed, and histopathological examination and immunohistochemistry confirmed the diagnosis of a Leydig cell tumor, a rare tumor accounting for 0.1% of ovarian tumors. Surgical resection led to normalization of testosterone levels.

Learning points:

  • Hirsutism in postmenopausal women should trigger suspicion of androgen-secreting tumor

  • Extremely elevated testosterone level plus normal DHEAS level point toward ovarian source

  • Leydig cell tumor is extremely rare cause of hyperandrogenicity

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Khaled Aljenaee Department of Endocrinology, St James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Osamah Hakami Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Colin Davenport Department of Endocrinology, St Columcille’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Gemma Farrell Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Tommy Kyaw Tun Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Agnieszka Pazderska Department of Endocrinology, St James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Niamh Phelan Department of Endocrinology, St James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Marie-Louise Healy Department of Endocrinology, St James Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

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Seamus Sreenan Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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John H McDermott Department of Endocrinology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland

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Summary

Measurement of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) has been utilised in assessing long-term control of blood glucose in patients with diabetes, as well as diagnosing diabetes and identifying patients at increased risk of developing diabetes in the future. HbA1c reflects the level of blood glucose to which the erythrocyte has been exposed during its lifespan, and there are a number of clinical situations affecting the erythrocyte life span in which HbA1c values may be spuriously high or low and therefore not reflective of the true level of glucose control. In the present case series, we describe the particulars of three patients with diabetes who had spuriously low HbA1c levels as a result of dapsone usage. Furthermore, we discuss the limitations of HbA1c testing and the mechanisms by which it may be affected by dapsone in particular.

Learning points:

  • Various conditions and medications can result in falsely low HbA1c.

  • Dapsone can lead to falsely low HbA1c by inducing haemolysis and by forming methaemoglobin.

  • Capillary glucose measurement, urine glucose measurements and fructosamine levels should be used as alternatives to HbA1c for monitoring glycaemic control if it was falsely low or high.

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