Pituitary metastasis: a clinical overview

Ulster Med J. 2021 Sep;90(3):146-150. Epub 2021 Nov 11.


The pituitary gland is an unusual site for metastatic spread and has been associated with a poor prognosis. Clinical presentation is variable but can include visual field defects, cranial nerve palsies, anterior pituitary dysfunction and/ or diabetes insipidus. Management options include surgery or radiotherapy, chemotherapy/immunotherapy or a conservative approach. The pituitary should not be overlooked as a site for metastasis in patients with known cancer and can be the first presentation of neoplastic disease in some patients. Given that patients are now living longer with cancer, clinicians should be alert to the varied presentation of pituitary metastasis. We provide a clinical overview of pituitary metastasis with the aid of illustrative clinical cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Insipidus*
  • Humans
  • Pituitary Neoplasms* / diagnosis