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      Metastatic Spread to the Pituitary



      S. Karger AG

      Diabetes insipidus, Hypopituitarism, Metastasis, Pituitary

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          The pituitary fossa is an uncommon site for metastatic tumor spread. Metastatic lesions to the sellar area derived mostly from breast, lung, renal, prostate, and colon cancers, and rarely from other solid and hematologic malignancies. Almost every cancer has been reported as a source of pituitary metastasis. Pituitary metastasis can involve both the anterior and posterior lobes, but the neuro-hypophysis is mainly involved. Clinical manifestations include diabetes insipidus, hypopituitarism, headache, visual disturbances, ophthalmoplegia, and also compression of adjacent structures by aggressive tumor masses. Metastatic spread to the pituitary from a distant primary malignancy is commonly associated with metastases to other tissues and poor prognosis, unless efficient systemic targeted medical treatment is available for the primary cancer (melanoma, lymphoma).

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          Most cited references 20

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          Tumors metastatic to the pituitary gland: case report and literature review.

          Tumors metastatic to the pituitary gland are an unusual complication of systemic cancer typically seen in elderly patients with diffuse malignant disease. Breast and lung are the commonest sites of the primary tumor, whereas diabetes insipidus is the most frequent symptom at presentation. Their rarity and usually indolent course, as well as the lack of specific clinical and radiological features, impede their differentiation from other more common sellar area lesions, particularly when history of malignancy is absent. Management of these patients may also be very difficult because the prognosis depends on the course of the primary neoplasm. A 68-yr-old man, with no history of malignancy, presented with recent onset of hypopituitarism, mild diabetes insipidus, headaches, left oculomotor nerve palsy, and progressive bilateral deterioration of visual acuity and visual fields. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large sellar mass compressing the optic chiasm and invading the left cavernous sinus, whereas a prolactin elevation at 438.6 ng/ml (19.73 nmol/liter) was noted. Decompression of the sellar region was attempted, and pathology disclosed a metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma. On postoperative investigation, primary liver tumor was identified and confirmed by biopsy. The patient improved transiently but died 3 months after diagnosis because of deterioration of the liver disease. The relevant literature is reviewed in light of this unusual case, illustrating the problems in the diagnosis and management of patients with metastasis to the pituitary.
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            Symptomatic pituitary metastases.

            The diagnosis and treatment of metastasis to the pituitary gland can be difficult to determine. The goal of this study was to analyze the clinical presentation, treatment, and prognosis of patients who presented with symptomatic pituitary metastasis. The cases of 36 patients with symptomatic pituitary metastases were reviewed. The most common primary cancers were breast (33%) and lung (36%). The presenting symptoms included diabetes insipidus, anterior pituitary insufficiency, and retroorbital pain. The overall median length of patient survival following diagnosis of pituitary metastasis was 180 days. In 20 patients (56%), symptoms stemming from pituitary metastasis were the first manifestation of illness. Local control of tumor was associated with significant improvement in survival times (p < 0.05) and amelioration of disabling symptoms including painful ophthalmoplegia and visual field deficits. Aggressive treatment including both surgical decompression and radiation therapy improves the quality of life in patients suffering from symptomatic pituitary metastasis.
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              Differential diagnosis of sellar masses.

               P. Freda,  K Post (1999)
              The differential diagnosis of nonpituitary sellar masses is broad; differentiating among potential etiologies may not always be straightforward because many of these lesions, tumorous and nontumorous, may mimic the clinical, endocrinologic, and radiologic presentations of pituitary adenomas. This article provides an overview of the clinical and radiographic characteristics of both pituitary tumors and the nonpituitary lesions found in the sellar/parasellar region and discusses, in detail, the specific nonpituitary origins of the sellar masses.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                August 2020
                27 February 2020
                : 110
                : 9-10
                : 805-808
                Institute of Endocrinology, Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva, and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Petach Tikva, Israel
                Author notes
                *Ilan Shimon, MD, Institute of Endocrinology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, 39 Jabotinsky Street, Petach Tikva 4941492 (Israel), ilanshi@clalit.org.il
                506810 Neuroendocrinology 2020;110:805–808
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 1, Pages: 4
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