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Michael H. Brisman, Michael R. Fetell and Kalmon D. Post

✓ Subfrontal tumors are an infrequent cause of dementia. Most of those that do cause dementia are meningiomas, and the symptoms may recede when the tumor is resected. A patient with a huge prolactinoma who came to medical attention because of dementia is described. The tumor shrank dramatically after bromocriptine therapy and the patient's mental status returned to normal.

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Michael H. Brisman, Gillian Katz and Kalmon D. Post

Macroprolactinomas rarely present with apoplexy. The authors describe a patient with a macroprolactinoma who presented with apoplexy and rapid progression of a third nerve palsy. The patient was managed expectantly with bromocriptine therapy, and within 48 hours, the patient's third nerve palsy had completely resolved. The authors suggest that all patients who present with pituitary apoplexy in the presence of a pituitary tumor receive an immediate course of bromocriptine and steroid therapy until the prolactin level can be determined. Emergency surgery is indicated if visual function is abnormal and the tumor is not a prolactinoma.

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Michael H. Brisman, Chandranath Sen and Peter Catalano

✓ To evaluate the results of surgery in patients with head and neck cancers that involved the internal carotid artery at the skull base the authors retrospectively reviewed a consecutive series of 17 patients who underwent surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital over a 4-year period. In general, patients who underwent tumor resection with carotid preservation had less advanced disease (two of seven tumors were recurrences) than patients who underwent tumor resection with carotid sacrifice (seven of 10 tumors were recurrences).

Of seven patients who underwent resection with carotid preservation, six had good outcomes (five patients alive in good condition, one dead at 2.2 years) and none had strokes. Of seven patients who underwent resection with carotid sacrifice and bypass, five had good outcomes (four alive in good condition, one dead at 2.5 years with no local recurrence) and two suffered graft occlusions that led to strokes, one of which was major and permanently disabling. Of three patients who underwent resection with carotid sacrifice and ligation without revascularization, there were no good outcomes: all three patients died within 6 months of surgery, two having suffered major permanently disabling strokes. The overall results (11 [65%] of 17 with good outcomes at an average follow-up period of 2.1 years) compared very favorably with historical nonsurgical controls.

The authors conclude that tumor resection with carotid perservation carries the lowest risk of stroke and should usually be the treatment of choice. For patients with more advanced and recurrent disease, in whom it is believed that carotid preservation would prevent a safe and oncologically meaningful resection, carotid sacrifice with carotid bypass may be a useful treatment option. Carotid sacrifice without revascularization seems to be the treatment option with the least favorable results.

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Michael H. Brisman, Gillian Katz and Kalmon D. Post

✓ Macroprolactinomas rarely present with apoplexy. The authors describe a patient with a macroprolactinoma who presented with apoplexy and rapid progression of a third nerve palsy. The patient was managed expectantly with bromocriptine, and within 48 hours, the patient's third nerve palsy had completely resolved. The authors suggest that all patients who present with pituitary apoplexy in the presence of a pituitary tumor receive an immediate course of bromocriptine and steroid therapy until the prolactin level can be determined. Emergency surgery is indicated if visual function is abnormal and the tumor is not a prolactinoma.

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Alex M. Landolt

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Michael H. Brisman, Susan Morgello, Adam Silvers, Irwin Klein and Kalmon D. Post

A case is described of an elderly woman who presented with headaches, hypopituitarism, and visual disturbances and was found to have idiopathic granulomatous hypophysitis, a rare lesion of the pituitary gland. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a well-circumscribed lesion, which was isointense on both T1- and T2-weighted imaging and enhanced uniformly with administration of gadolinium contrast enhancement, not unlike a macroadenoma. The present case and 12 other cases from the literature are reviewed.