T. 11 3846.3272 / 3846.3273 | contato@cukiert.com.br
Rua Dr. Alceu de Campos Rodrigues, 247 - 12° and. Cj. 21
São Paulo/SP - Brasil - CEP 04544-000

Neuroendocrinologia | Trabalhos na Íntegra

Subclinical apoplexy in pituitary tumors

Pinheiro MM1, Cukiert A, Salgado LR, Nery M, Goldman J, Pimentel F, Liberman B.


Acute pituitary apoplexy is a rare event, even in patients with pituitary macroadenomas. On the other hand, the presence of necrotic/hemorrhagic areas, especially in macroadenomas, seems to be more common than earlier reported in the CT period. After the introduction of MR in the presurgical workup of these patients, these apopleptic areas have been more easily diagnosed preoperatively. Forty consecutive patients with pituitary macroadenomas were studied with high-resolution 1.5 T T1 coronal, sagittal and axial slices over the sellar region. Special attention was paid in the detection of necrotic, cystic and hemorrhagic areas within these tumors. Ten patients had hemorrhagic/necrotic areas within their tumors, without any sign or symptom of acute apoplexy. These areas varied from small (2 mm) to very large (30 mm) ones. Seven patients had non-secreting tumors, 2 GH and 1 prolactin secreting tumors, which is the same profile of secretory pattern for the whole series (40 patients). The clinical picture included (other than that caused by endocrine secretion) slowly progressive (but not acute) visual loss (n = 8) and headache (n = 3). After surgical decompression of the surrounding structures and visual apparatus, which was facilitated by the presence of the necrotic areas, there was visual improvement in 6 patients and headache resolution in 2. The presence of asymptomatic apopletic areas in these macroadenomas and their absence in microadenomas as can be seen in the literature suggest that they are related more to the size of the tumor than to its endocrine secretion pattern. This is in agreement with a vascular insufficiency hypothesis in the pathogenesis of these lesions.