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Human pathology

Changes in hormone production of a recurrent silent corticotroph adenoma of the pituitary: a histologic, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and tissue culture study.


PMID 1649119

Abstract

A 19-year-old man with blurred vision, headache, and no signs or symptoms of hormone excess was found to have a pituitary adenoma. The tumor was removed by a transfrontal approach. He had postoperative radiation therapy, but subsequently had three recurrences, all removed surgically. By histology, the tumor was a chromophobic, slightly acidophilic pituitary adenoma. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) in all four biopsies, alpha-subunit of glycoprotein hormones, and, to a lesser extent, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the third and fourth tumor resection specimens. Ultrastructurally, the tumor had typical features of a silent corticotroph adenoma subtype 2. In tissue culture, the second, third, and fourth specimens released ACTH, alpha-subunit, FSH, and LH and responded to corticotropin-releasing hormone with increased release of ACTH, alpha-subunit, FSH, and LH. To our knowledge only one silent corticotroph adenoma has been reported previously which expressed plurihormonality. Change in immunohistochemical profile in malignant tumors is a well-known phenomenon; however, it was not reported previously in benign pituitary adenomas. The factors accounting for changing tumor phenotype are unknown.

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