Pituitary infiltration by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: A case report


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Tamer G., Kartal I., Aral F.

Journal of Medical Case Reports, vol.3, 2009 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/1752-1947-3-9293
  • Journal Name: Journal of Medical Case Reports
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus

Abstract

Introduction. Pituitary adenomas represent the most frequently observed type of sellar masses; however, the presence of a rapidly growing sellar tumor, diabetes insipidus, ophthalmoplegia and headaches in an older patient strongly suggests metastasis to the pituitary. Since the anterior pituitary has a great reserve capacity, metastasis to the pituitary and pituitary involvement in lymphoma are usually asymptomatic. Whereas diabetes insipidus is the most frequent symptom, patients can present with headaches, ophthalmoplegia and bilateral hemianopsia. Case presentation. A 70-year-old woman with no previous history of malignancy presented with headaches, right oculomotor nerve palsy and diabetes insipidus. As magnetic resonance imaging revealed a sellar mass involving the pituitary gland and infundibular stalk, which also extended into the right cavernous sinus and sphenoid sinus, the patient underwent an immediate transsphenoidal decompression surgery. Her prolactin was 102.4 ng/ml, whereas her gonadotropic hormone levels were low. A low level of urine osmolality after overnight water deprivation, along with normal plasma osmolality suggested diabetes insipidus. Histological examination revealed that the mass had been the infiltration of a high grade B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma involving respiratory system epithelial cells. Paranasal sinus computed tomography scanning and magnetic resonance imaging of the thorax and abdomen were performed. Since magnetic resonance imaging did not reveal any abnormality, after paranasal sinus computed tomography was performed, we concluded that the primary lymphoma originated from the sphenoid sinus and infiltrated the pituitary. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy to the sellar area were planned, but the patient died and her family did not permit an autopsy. Conclusion. Lymphoma infiltration to the pituitary is difficult to differentiate from pituitary adenoma, meningioma and other sellar lesions. To plan the treatment of lymphoma infiltration of the pituitary gland, it must be differentiated from other sellar lesions. © 2009 Tamer et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.