Giant cell granulomatous hypophysitis manifesting as an intrasellar mass with unilateral ophthalmoplegia--case report

Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 1997 Oct;37(10):766-70. doi: 10.2176/nmc.37.766.


A 62-year-old female presented with giant cell granulomatous hypophysitis manifesting as subacute unilateral ophthalmoplegia. Neuroimaging revealed a mass lesion expanding in the pituitary fossa. The mass was totally removed through the transsphenoidal approach. The histological diagnosis was giant cell granuloma. The oculomotor nerve paresis resolved completely 10 days after the operation. Giant cell granulomatous hypophysitis is symptomatically and radiologically indistinguishable from non-functioning pituitary adenoma, but is less likely to cause visual disturbance than pituitary adenoma. Giant cell granulomatous hypophysitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of sellar and suprasellar lesions, particularly if oculomotor nerve paresis is observed without impaired visual field or acuity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Granuloma, Giant Cell / diagnosis
  • Granuloma, Giant Cell / pathology
  • Granuloma, Giant Cell / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hypophysectomy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmoplegia / etiology
  • Ophthalmoplegia / pathology
  • Ophthalmoplegia / surgery*
  • Pituitary Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pituitary Diseases / pathology
  • Pituitary Diseases / surgery*
  • Pituitary Function Tests
  • Pituitary Gland / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed