Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is a rare, acquired demyelination syndrome that causes cognitive impairment and focal neurological deficits and may be fatal. The potentially reversible disease mainly affects children, often after vaccination or viral infection, but may be seen rarely in adults.
A 50-year-old woman presented with loss of visual acuity of the left eye. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an intra- and suprasellar mass, which was removed successfully. On postoperative day 1, MRI showed gross total resection of the lesion and no surgery-related complications. On postoperative day 2, the patient presented with a progressive left-sided hemiparesis, hemineglect, and decline of cognitive performance. MRI showed white matter edema in both hemispheres. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis revealed mixed pleocytosis (355/µL) without further evidence of infection. In synopsis of the findings, ADEM was diagnosed and treated with intravenous immunoglobulins. Shortly thereafter, the patient recovered, and no sensorimotor deficits were detected in the follow-up examination.
Pituitary gland pathologies are commonly treated by transsphenoidal surgery, with only minor risks for complications. A case of ADEM after craniopharyngioma resection has not been published before and should be considered in case of progressive neurological deterioration with multiple white matter lesions.