Lymphocytic Adenohypophysitis: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features of Two New Cases and a Review of the Literature

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1995 Mar;42(3):315-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.1995.tb01881.x.


Lymphocytic adenohypophysitis can cause pituitary expansion and hypopituitarism closely mimicking the features of a pituitary adenoma. Discrimination between these two conditions is of importance since, despite the similarity of their presentation, there are significant differences in pathophysiology. In contrast to pituitary adenoma, lymphocytic adenohypophysitis occurs almost exclusively in young women in relation to pregnancy, there is a preference for destruction of ACTH and TSH secreting cells and computed tomographic scanning shows uniform contrast enhancement in a proportion of cases. There is, as yet, no proven specific non-surgical treatment. There are anecdotal reports of a beneficial effect of steroids but there is also evidence that spontaneous resolution may occur. We have reviewed the literature and report two new cases of lymphocytic adenohypophysitis both of whom exhibited early striking diffuse homogeneous contrast enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging scanning which we suggest may be a diagnostic feature of this condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Pituitary Diseases / immunology*
  • Pituitary Diseases / surgery
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior / immunology*
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior / surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology*