Pituitary abscesses

Report of seven cases and review of the literature

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, California
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✓ Seven cases of pituitary abscess are presented and the relevant world literature is reviewed. An enlarged sella co-existing with bacterial meningitis, or bacterial meningitis coinciding with a known or suspected pituitary tumor should suggest the diagnosis of pituitary abscess. Visual field defects should evoke similar suspicion when present in a patient with meningitis. This reasoning enabled us to make the first reported preoperative diagnosis of pituitary abscess. Therefore, in the management of purulent meningitis, we recommend the following: first, skull films are mandatory; second, if the sella turcica is abnormal, the correct presumptive diagnosis is pituitary abscess; and third, if prompt improvement does not follow appropriate antibiotic therapy, the suspected abscess should be explored and drained via the transsphenoidal approach.

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  • 1.

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  • 2.

    Askenasy JM, , Israeli J, & Karny H, et al: Intrasellar abscess simulating pituitary adenoma. Neurochirurgica 14:3437, 1971 Askenasy JM, Israeli J, Karny H, et al: Intrasellar abscess simulating pituitary adenoma. Neurochirurgica 14:34–37, 1971

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