A pharyngeal and ectopic hypophysis in a neonate with craniofacial abnormalities: a case report and review of development and structure

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2006 Jan;43(1):117-22. doi: 10.1597/04-097r1.1.


Objective: A large excrescence was found bulging from the mucoperiosteum of the nasopharynx in a neonate displaying abnormal craniofacial features. The aim of this study was to determine the nature of this tissue mass.

Design: Histological examination of this mass of tissue and the surrounding nasopharyngeal mucosal tissue, as well as tissue located in the sella turcica of the sphenoid bone, were carried out. In addition, tissue in a canal connecting the large mass to the sella turcica was removed for analysis.

Results: Nervous elements and adenohypophyseal tissue were histologically identified in the large excrescence, but were separate from adenohypophyseal tissue of the pharyngeal hypophysis. Both structures were located in the mucoperiosteum of the nasopharynx.

Conclusions: The large tissue mass found in the nasopharynx is histologically identical to a sellar hypophyseal gland, but differed from the adjacent pharyngeal hypophysis in histological composition. The mass, although sellar in nature, however, was placed ectopically in the nasopharynx and is hence termed pharyngosellar to indicate its abnormal position, as well as its origin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Choristoma / complications*
  • Choristoma / pathology
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Nasopharynx / pathology
  • Periosteum / pathology
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / complications*
  • Pharyngeal Diseases / pathology
  • Pituitary Gland*
  • Sella Turcica / pathology
  • Sphenoid Bone / pathology