Vol 49, No 1 (2015)

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Melatonin and cortisol profiles in patients with pituitary tumors

Daniel Zielonka1, Jerzy Sowiński2, Stanisław Nowak3, Anna Ciesielska1, Jakub Moskal3, Jerzy T. Marcinkowski1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2014.12.004
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2015;49(1):65-69.


The optic tract section at the optic chiasm is expected to disturb the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) rhythm, circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion rhythms in humans, although detailed studies have never been conducted. The aim of this paper was to describe melatonin and cortisol profiles in patients with a pituitary tumor exerting optic chiasm compression. Six patients with pituitary tumors of different size, four of whom had significant optic chiasm compression, were examined. In each brain, MRI, an ophthalmological examination including the vision field and laboratory tests were performed. Melatonin and cortisol concentrations were measured at 22:00h, 02:00h, 06:00h, and 10:00h in patients lying in a dark, isolated room.

One of the four cases with significant optic chiasm compression presented a flattened melatonin rhythm. The melatonin rhythm was also disturbed in one patient without optic chiasm compression. Larger tumors may play a role in the destruction of neurons connecting the retina with the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and breaking of basic way for inhibiting effect to the SCN from the retina.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska