Metastatic Spread to the Pituitary

Neuroendocrinology. 2020;110(9-10):805-808. doi: 10.1159/000506810. Epub 2020 Feb 27.


The pituitary fossa is an uncommon site for metastatic tumor spread. Metastatic lesions to the sellar area derived mostly from breast, lung, renal, prostate, and colon cancers, and rarely from other solid and hematologic malignancies. Almost every cancer has been reported as a source of pituitary metastasis. Pituitary metastasis can involve both the anterior and posterior lobes, but the neuro-hypophysis is mainly involved. Clinical manifestations include diabetes insipidus, hypopituitarism, headache, visual disturbances, ophthalmoplegia, and also compression of adjacent structures by aggressive tumor masses. Metastatic spread to the pituitary from a distant primary malignancy is commonly associated with metastases to other tissues and poor prognosis, unless efficient systemic targeted medical treatment is available for the primary cancer (melanoma, lymphoma).

Keywords: Diabetes insipidus; Hypopituitarism; Metastasis; Pituitary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / secondary
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / therapy