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  • Author or Editor: Chun Po Yen x
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Dibyendu Kumar Ray, Chun Po Yen, Mary Lee Vance, Edward R. Laws, Beatriz Lopes and Jason P. Sheehan

Lymphocytic hypophysitis is a relatively uncommon autoimmune inflammatory disorder affecting the pituitary gland. It most frequently occurs in women of child-bearing age. The authors report on their experience with a patient who presented with diplopia and marked enlargement of the pituitary gland. She underwent transsphenoidal surgery, and histopathological analysis confirmed the diagnosis of lymphocytic hypophysitis. The disease proved refractory to resection, and any attempt at withdrawal of corticosteroid therapy resulted in a return of the patient's symptoms and enlargement of the sellar contents.

The patient underwent Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) to the sella and both cavernous sinuses. After GKS, the patient was able to discontinue steroid therapy without return of her symptoms. Follow-up MR images demonstrated no evidence of recurrence of lymphocytic hypophysitis.

For persistent lymphocytic hypophysitis, GKS is a reasonable treatment option.

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Vincenzo Mingione, Chun Po Yen, Mary Lee Vance, Melita Steiner, Jason Sheehan, Edward R. Laws and Ladislau Steiner

Object

The authors report on a retrospective analysis of the imaging and clinical outcomes following gamma surgery in 100 patients with nonsecretory pituitary macroadenoma.

Methods

Between June 1989 and March 2004, 100 consecutive patients with nonsecretory pituitary macroadenoma were treated at the Lars Leksell Center for Gamma Surgery, University of Virginia Health System (Charlottesville, VA). Ninety-two patients had residual or recurrent macroadenoma following one or more surgical procedures. In eight patients, gamma surgery was the primary treatment. Ten patients received conventional fractionated radiotherapy before the gamma surgery. Sixty-nine patients required hormone replacement therapy for one or more deficits before gamma knife treatment. Peripheral doses between 5 and 25 Gy (mean 18.5 Gy) were administered.

Imaging and endocrinological follow-up evaluations were performed in 90 patients; these studies ranged from 6 to 142 months (mean 44.9 months) and 6 to 127 months (mean 47.9 months), respectively. Tumor volume decreased in 59 patients (65.6%), remained unchanged in 24 (26.7%), and increased in seven (7.8%). The minimal effective peripheral dose was 12 Gy; peripheral doses greater than 20 Gy did not seem to provide additional benefit. Of 61 patients with a partially or fully functioning pituitary gland and follow-up data, 12 (19.7%) suffered new hormone deficits following gamma surgery. In patients with endocrinological follow-up data that had been collected over more than 2 years, the rate of new deficits was 25%. No neurological morbidity or death was related to treatment.

Conclusions

Current experience suggests that gamma surgery is an appropriate means of managing recurrent or residual nonsecretory pituitary macroadenoma following microsurgery and a primary treatment in selected patients. To evaluate definite rates of recurrence and new endocrine deficiencies, long-term follow-up studies are needed.