Vol 45, No 2 (2011)

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Lymphocytic hypophysitis: an underestimated disease affecting the sellar region

Bekir Tuğcu1, Omur Gunaldi1, Lutfi Postalci1, Osman Tanriverdi1, Ender Ofluoglu1, Nurten Sever2
DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3843(14)60030-X
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2011;45(2):174-179.


Hypophysitis is an inflammation of the pituitary gland and includes a heterogeneous group of diseases presenting with impaired pituitary gland function. Hundreds of cases have been reported after Goudie and Pinkerton's initial report on a young postpartum woman who died after progressive lymphocytic infiltration of the adenohypophysis in 1962.

A 17-year-old woman presented with a three-year history of headache, galactorrhoea and excessive weight gain. The patient had used oral contraceptives for several years until one year previously. Her examination demonstrated only bilateral heteronymous hemianopsia. Laboratory investigation revealed elevated prolactin and decreased gonadotropin levels. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a sellar mass with suprasellar extension. Surgical removal of the lesion was performed via a transsphenoidal approach. A diagnosis of lymphocytic hypophysitis was confirmed by histopathological evaluation.

Hypophysitis is an underestimated disease affecting the pituitary gland. Cases are usually diagnosed as adenomas and treated with surgical removal. This case is presented due to the extremely rare infiltration of the pituitary gland by predominantly lymphocytes.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska