eISSN: 1509-572x
ISSN: 1641-4640
Folia Neuropathologica
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vol. 55
Case report

Three cases of ectopic sphenoid sinus pituitary adenoma

Ernest Jan Bobeff, Karol Wiśniewski, Wielisław Papierz, Ludomir Stefańczyk, Dariusz Jan Jaskólski

Folia Neuropathol 2017; 55 (1): 60-66
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Introduction: Ectopic sphenoid sinus pituitary adenoma is a rare tumour originating from embryologic remnants of Rathke’s pouch. Although it is considered a clinically benign neoplasm, necrosis is encountered in 25% of cases and it can invade adjacent bone structures.

Aims: To establish clinical, radiological and histopathological features of ectopic sphenoid sinus pituitary adenoma.

Material and methods: Analysis of three cases: two females and one man, aged 61-70.

Results: One patient presented with a unilateral hearing loss, the other two with headache and vertigo. They all suffered from type 2 diabetes mellitus. Neurological examination revealed no abnormality. Radiological imaging showed a sphenoid sinus space-occupying soft-tissue lesion with bone erosion in 2 cases and empty sella in 2 patients whereas one had a normal pituitary gland. All were operated on via the transnasal approach. Total resection was achieved in one patient and subtotal in two; in two cases we observed intact sellar dura and in one intact sellar floor. Histopathology showed immunoreactivity for synaptophysin in all cases and cytokeratin in two. The Ki-67 index was less than 2%. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated growth hormone cells in all cases whereas prolactin and adrenocorticotropin in two. The patients were discharged home in good condition with no neurological deficits.

Conclusions: Ectopic sphenoid sinus pituitary adenoma should always be considered in differential diagnosis of sphenoid sinus lesion in the elderly, especially in coexistence with empty sella or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Since ectopic sphenoid sinus pituitary adenoma is a benign lesion, surgical removal is an effective treatment.


sphenoid sinus, empty sella, neuroendocrine markers, plurihormonal, ectopic pituitary adenoma

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