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      Foster Kennedy syndrome secondary to a giant prolactinoma with a remarkable response to cabergoline


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          Pituitary adenomas are intracranial neoplasms, usually demonstrating a benign phenotype. We present the case of 21-year-old male with an 18-month history of reduced visual function (acuity and field) in the left eye. Based on neuroimaging and endocrine profile, a giant prolactinoma causing hypogonadotropic hypogonadism was diagnosed and cabergoline was commenced. After a month of treatment, the tumour size reduced, and visual function improved to normal; however, he developed Foster Kennedy syndrome with a swollen right optic disc. After almost 1 year of follow-up, he regained full visual functioning. Two years since his diagnosis, his prolactin remains normal with no adverse effects or further visual complications.

          Learning points
          • Foster Kennedy syndrome is a rare entity but can be a feature of pituitary adenomas.

          • Visual deterioration secondary to a compressive optic neuropathy can be reversible, provided that diagnosis and treatment are prompt.

          • This case highlights the importance of frequent monitoring of visual function during follow-up of these lesions, particularly when there are deficits at diagnosis.

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          Most cited references10

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          Therapy of endocrine disease: the challenges in managing giant prolactinomas.

          Giant prolactinomas are rare tumours, representing only 2-3% of all prolactin (PRL)-secreting tumours and raising special diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Based on several considerations developed in this review, their definition should be restricted to pituitary adenomas with a diameter of 40  mm or more, significant extrasellar extension, very high PRL concentrations (usually above 1000  μg/l) and no concomitant GH or ACTH secretion. Giant prolactinomas are much more frequent in young to middle-aged men than in women, with a male to female ratio of about 9:1. Endocrine symptoms are often present but overlooked for a long period of time, and diagnosis is eventually made when neurologic complications arise from massive extension into the surrounding structures, leading to cranial nerve palsies, hydrocephalus, temporal epilepsy or exophthalmos. PRL concentrations are usually in the range of 1000-100,000  μg/l, but may be underestimated by the so-called 'high-dose hook effect'. As in every prolactinoma, dopamine agonists are the first-line treatment allowing rapid alleviation of neurologic symptoms in the majority of the cases, a significant reduction in tumour size in three-fourths of the patients and PRL normalization in 60-70%. These extensive tumours are usually not completely resectable and neurosurgery has significant morbidity and mortality. It should therefore be restricted to acute complications such as apoplexy or leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (often induced by medical treatment) or to patients with insufficient tumoural response or progression. Irradiation and temozolomide are useful adjuvant therapies in a subset of patients with aggressive/invasive tumours, which are not controlled despite combined medical and surgical treatments. Because of these various challenges, we advocate a multidisciplinary management of these giant tumours in expert centres. © 2014 European Society of Endocrinology.
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            Giant prolactinomas: clinical management and long-term follow up.

            Giant prolactinomas are rare tumors whose treatment and outcome has only been addressed in isolated case reports. The authors document the long-term follow-up findings and clinical outcome in a group of patients with giant prolactinomas. This study is a retrospective chart and clinical review of more than 2000 cases of pituitary tumors treated at the authors' institution, of which 10 met the criteria for inclusion (prolactin level > 1000 ng/ml, diameter > 4 cm on neuroimaging studies, and clinical signs of hyperprolactinemia/mass effect). The average follow-up duration was 6.7 years after initial treatment with either bromocriptine or transsphenoidal resection. In more than 90% of the patients in this series the disease was controlled by medical treatment with bromocriptine alone; the other 10% required early surgery via transsphenoidal resection. All patients had improvement in visual symptoms. All tumors had extrasellar components, five of which exhibited frank invasion of the cavernous sinus. Tumor volume on magnetic resonance imaging was decreased on average by 69%; this occurred at a faster rate and in larger amounts when treated with bromocriptine than has been reported in the literature for macroprolactinomas. According to long-term follow-up findings, giant prolactinomas are exquisitely responsive to dopamine agonist therapy. In giant prolactinomas the prolactin level does not correlate with size. The main indication for early surgery is intratumoral hematoma, whereas our main indications for late surgery are cerebrospinal fluid leakage caused by medical treatment, or an increasing prolactin level despite medical therapy. Checking prolactin levels in suspicious sellar and/or suprasellar lesions may be diagnostic and prevent unnecessary surgery.
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              Giant prolactinomas in men: efficacy of cabergoline treatment.

              The term 'giant prolactinoma' can be used for tumours larger than 4 cm in diameter and/or with massive extrasellar extension. Cabergoline (CAB), a long-lasting dopamine agonist (DA), safe and well tolerated, is effective in normalizing PRL levels and inducing tumour shrinkage in micro- and macroprolactinomas. The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CAB also for giant prolactinomas. Ten men with giant prolactinomas with a median age of 44.8 years were treated with CAB. Before CAB, four patients had previously undergone transsphenoidal surgery without modifying the parasellar extension of the tumour or their visual defects. Pretreatment serum prolactin (PRL) levels ranged between 1230 and 22 916 micro g/l (mean +/- SEM: 5794 +/- 1996) and tumour volume was between 21.8 and 105.5 cm3 (mean +/- SEM: 50.7 +/- 8.8). CAB was administered at an initial low dose of 0.5 mg three times a week and, in five patients who did not achieve serum PRL normalization, the dose was progressively increased up to 10.5 mg/week. The duration of treatment was 13-68 months (mean 38.9). PRL levels and pituitary target organ hormones were assayed before, after 30 days and then every 3 months after the beginning of CAB treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was carried out before, after 1-3 months, after 6 months and then every 10-12 months to evaluate tumour shrinkage. In every patient, a significant PRL decrease (P = 0.0086) of at least 96% of the pretreatment values occurred (from 5794 +/- 1996 to 77 +/- 38, mean +/- SEM); a persistent normalization of PRL levels was achieved in five out of 10 patients (50%) beginning from the first 3-6 months of CAB treatment (only one patient needed 12 months of therapy). A significant tumour shrinkage (P = 0.0003) was achieved after 12 months of therapy in nine out of 10 patients (90%), with a volume reduction greater than 95% in three, of 50% in four and 25% in two patients. Tumour volume decreased from 50.7 +/- 8.8 to 28.6 +/- 9.4 and then to 22.3 +/- 8.8 cm3 (mean +/- SEM) after 6 and 12 months of CAB treatment, respectively. An improvement of visual field defects (VFD) was obtained in six of the seven patients presenting visual impairment before CAB treatment. Among the eight patients presenting libido and potency (L-P) failure, five normalized their PRL levels. In two of these a complete restoration of libido and potency was observed. Three patients with secondary hypoadrenalism and a patient with secondary hypothyroidism were treated with substitutive therapy during all the study time. The drug was well tolerated by all patients and no one discontinued the therapy. These data suggest that, in giant, aggressive prolactinomas, CAB represents a first-line therapy effective in reducing PRL levels and determining tumour shrinkage.

                Author and article information

                Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep
                Endocrinol Diabetes Metab Case Rep
                Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Case Reports
                Bioscientifica Ltd (Bristol )
                27 July 2022
                : 2022
                : 22-0261
                [1 ]Department of Ophthalmology , University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
                [2 ]Department of Endocrinology , University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
                [3 ]Department of Neuroradiology , University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
                [4 ]Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research , University of Bimingham, Birmingham, UK
                [5 ]Center for Endocrinology , Diabetes and Metabolism, Birmingham, UK
                [6 ]Birmingham Neuro-Ophthalmology Unit , University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence should be addressed to R Batra; Email: Ruchika.batra@ 123456uhb.nhs.uk
                Author information
                © The authors

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License..

                : 15 July 2022
                : 27 July 2022
                Asian - Pakistani
                United Kingdom
                Unique/Unexpected Symptoms or Presentations of a Disease
                Unique/Unexpected Symptoms or Presentations of a Disease

                adult,male,asian - pakistani,united kingdom,pituitary,ophthalmology,unique/unexpected symptoms or presentations of a disease,august,2022


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