The Intriguing Case of a Double Pituitary Adenoma.


Department of Medicine Division of Endocrinology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Department of Neurological Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : When distinct pituitary hypersecretory manifestations coexist, the differential diagnosis includes plurihormonal or double pituitary adenomas. We describe a rare case of hypercortisolemia and hyperprolactinemia caused by 2 noncontiguous adenomas that required 2 surgeries.
METHODS : A 37-year-old woman presented with 6 months of weight gain, amenorrhea, joint pain, leg swelling, and skin changes. She received prednisone for possible systemic lupus erythematosus. Four months later, she presented with headaches and new-onset diabetes with glucose >1000 mg/dL. Work-up revealed a right-sided 1.1-cm pituitary adenoma and prolactin level of 152.9 ng/mL (normal: 3-27 ng/mL). She was advised to stop the prednisone, start bromocriptine, and see a pituitary specialist. Examination revealed centripetal obesity, supraclavicular and dorsocervical fat pads, violaceous wide striae, bilateral leg edema, and galactorrhea. Workup confirmed adrenocorticotrophic hormone-dependent Cushing syndrome, with a central-to-peripheral gradient on inferior petrosal sinus sampling bilaterally. Transsphenoidal adenenomectomy yielded an adenoma diffusely positive for prolactin. Postoperatively prolactin normalized, hypercortisolemia persisted, and magnetic resonance imaging findings raised suspicion for a 2-mm microadenoma. The patient underwent a second operation when an adrenocorticotrophic hormone-positive adenoma was identified. After 4 years, both hypersecretory syndromes remain in biochemical remission.
CONCLUSIONS : A complete clinical and biochemical evaluation is necessary in patients with pituitary adenomas. Repeat surgery may be necessary for noncontiguous double adenomas.


Cushing disease,Double pituitary adenoma,Functional adenoma,Prolactinoma,

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