Recurrent Lymphocytic Hypophysitis and Bilateral Intracavernous Carotid Artery Occlusion. An Observation and Review of the Literature

Neurol Res. 2006 Mar;28(2):177-83. doi: 10.1179/016164105X39996.


Objectives: Bilateral carotid artery occlusion associated with lymphocytic hypophysitis is exceedingly rare. We describe this association and review the literature.

Methods: The authors describe a 38-year-old woman with a history of severe headaches. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging showed an intrasellar mass with invasion of both cavernous sinuses. Lymphocytic hypophysitis was diagnosed by transphenoidal biopsy. In the course of the disease, she developed symptoms of cerebral ischemia attributable to bilateral occlusion of her internal carotid arteries in both cavernous sinuses. She underwent bilateral superficial temporal artery-middle cerebral artery bypass surgery.

Results: The patient experienced progressive neurological recovery after surgery. A literature search revealed no other cases describing this unique association.

Conclusions: Bilateral carotid artery occlusion may develop in the course of lymphocytic hypophysitis with cavernous sinus involvement. If indicated, cerebral revascularization should be performed to reverse cerebral ischemia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / pathology*
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / physiopathology
  • Carotid Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Carotid Stenosis / etiology*
  • Carotid Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Cavernous Sinus / pathology*
  • Cavernous Sinus / physiopathology
  • Encephalitis / complications*
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis
  • Encephalitis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytosis / complications*
  • Lymphocytosis / diagnosis
  • Lymphocytosis / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / surgery
  • Pituitary Diseases / complications*
  • Pituitary Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pituitary Diseases / physiopathology
  • Radiography
  • Sella Turcica / pathology
  • Sella Turcica / physiopathology
  • Temporal Arteries / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures