Pituitary image: pituicytoma

Pituitary. 2015 Oct;18(5):592-7. doi: 10.1007/s11102-014-0612-7.


Introduction: Pituicytoma is a rare tumor arising from the neurohypophysis or pars intermedia of the adenohypophysis.

Case report: A 36 year old male came to our observation presenting polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, decreased libido and altered sleep-wake rhythm. The biochemical tests showed hypotonic urine, mild hyperprolactinemia, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, central hypothyroidism. Magnetic resonance revealed an expansive lesion of the suprasellar region (slightly isointense on T1, hyperintense on T2, impregnating contrast medium), that was partially removed by trans-cranial neurosurgical approach. The histopathological diagnosis was pituicytoma. After surgery, in addition to endocrine disorders, the patient presented severe neurological sequelae and hyperthermia, likely due to damage of the hypothalamus, followed by a progressive metabolic syndrome. The residual tumor was monitored by MRI, and, due to the early gradual increase in volume, was treated by stereotactic radiosurgery.

Discussion/conclusions: Pituicytomas are often difficult to distinguish from other hypothalamic or pituitary lesions. However, their identification would be preferable in a pre-operative setting in order to optimize the work-up and to initiate a proactive management of the expected complications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Humans
  • Hypophysectomy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior / pathology*
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior / surgery
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / complications
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery
  • Radiosurgery
  • Reoperation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden