Background: The growing teratoma syndrome is a recognized complication of metastatic nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of the testis and is managed surgically. It may also occur in intracranial nongerminomatous germ cell tumors.
Methods: The authors performed an English language computer search using the EMBASE data base (from January 1980 to December 1996) for pineal tumors, read all abstracts, and then selected all articles pertaining to germ cell tumors at this site.
Results: The case history of a 19-year-old male who presented with a pineal nongerminomatous germ cell tumor, which was treated with chemotherapy, is reported. Despite normalization of raised tumor marker levels, the pineal mass enlarged during chemotherapy. This was excised and proved to be a mature teratoma. A review of the literature regarding this complication of intracranial germ cell tumors is also presented.
Conclusions: The authors believe this to be the first reported case of growing teratoma syndrome in the pineal gland of an adult patient, two previously reported cases occurred in children. The authors conclude that the pineal gland is an unusual but important site in which to recognize the growing teratoma syndrome.