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  • Author or Editor: Kazuhiko Sugiyama x
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Kazunori Arita, Kaoru Kurisu, Atushi Tominaga, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Fusao Ikawa, Hiroyuki Yoshioka, Masayuki Sumida, Yukari Kanou, Koji Yajin and Ryusuke Ogawa

✓ The authors treated two patients with pituitary apoplexy in whom magnetic resonance (MR) images were obtained before and after the episode. Two days after the apoplectic episodes, MR imaging demonstrated marked thickening of the mucosa of the sphenoid sinus that was absent in the previous studies. The relevance of this change in the sphenoid sinus was investigated.

Retrospective evaluations were performed using MR images obtained in 14 consecutive patients with classic pituitary apoplexy characterized by acute onset of severe headache. The mucosa of the sphenoid sinus had thickened predominantly in the compartment just beneath the sella turcica, in nine of 11 patients, as ascertained on MR images obtained within 7 days after the onset of apoplectic symptoms. This condition improved spontaneously in all four patients who did not undergo transsphenoidal surgery. The sphenoid sinus mucosa appeared to be normal on MR images obtained from three patients at the chronic stage (> 3 months after onset). The incidence of sphenoid sinus mucosal thickening during the acute stage was significantly higher in the patients with apoplexy than that in the 100 patients without apoplexy. A histological study conducted in four patients who underwent transsphenoidal surgery during the early stage showed that the subepithelial layer of the sphenoid sinus mucous membrane was obviously swollen.

The sphenoid sinus mucosa thickens during the acute stage of pituitary apoplexy. This thickening neither indicates infectious sinusitis nor rules out the choice of the transsphenoidal route for surgery.

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Seiji Hama, Kazunori Arita, Takashi Nishisaka, Toshiyuki Fukuhara, Atsushi Tominaga, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Hiroyuki Yoshioka, Kuniki Eguchi, Masayuki Sumida, Yuji Heike and Kaoru Kurisu

Object. Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) are composed of tall, well-differentiated, ciliated columnar epithelia. Their structures are altered by hyperplasia or squamous metaplasia, but their cause remains unknown.

Methods. The authors studied pathological findings and anterior pituitary function in 20 patients harboring RCCs. They classified RCC epithelium as either single (a single ciliated columnar cell lining or a flattened cuboidal cell lining) or stratified (a stratified ciliated columnar cell lining, basal cell hyperplasia, columnar cell hyperplasia, or squamous metaplasia). Inflammation was classified as acute, subacute, chronic, or end stage.

The epithelial cell lining was observed in 13 specimens obtained during surgery (six specimens contained single and seven contained stratified epithelia). Inflammation had penetrated the cyst epithelium or subjacent stroma in 10 patients, and the stage of inflammation correlated well with the type of epithelia group: early stages of inflammation in the single epithelium group and chronic or end-stage inflammation in the stratified epithelia (p = 0.0027). The adenohypophysis was identified in 21 surgical specimens. Postoperatively, growth hormone (p = 0.019), cortisol (p = 0.027), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (p = 0.039) responses significantly worsened as the inflammation progressed. The presence of diabetes insipidus correlated well with advanced stages of neurohypophysitis (p = 0.025).

Conclusions. Epithelial stratification in the RCC is caused by inflammation that may extend into the adjacent adenohypophysis or neurohypophysis and overwhelm the hypophysis, resulting in panhypopituitarism. Transsphenoidal excision may represent the best choice for treatment, at least for cases of RCC in which there is partial impairment of hypophysial function.