Pituitary metastasis

Case contributed by A.Prof Frank Gaillard


Decreased vision and right CN III palsy.

Patient Data

Age: 33
Gender: Female

There is a heterogenous predominantly T1 isointense suprasellar mass (23 x 12 x 14mm) that encases/narrows the cavernous segment of the right internal carotid artery. The optic chiasm is draped over the mass, with mild compression of the optic chiasm and adjoining right optic nerve. The mass enhances vividly in a heterogeneous fashion on dynamic sequences.

Case Discussion

The patient went on to have a transsphenoidal resection. 


MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: The sections show features of metastatic poorly differentiated carcinoma. The tumour forms trabeculae and nests. No glandular structures are noted. The tumour cells have enlarged pleomorphic nuclei, prominent nucleoli and small amounts of cytoplasm. No evidence of lymphovascular invasion is seen. There is no normal anterior pituitary tissue included.

  • Oestrogen receptor: Negative
  • Progesterone receptor: Negative
  • HER-2: Positive (3+)
  • Previous positive SISH noted

Pituitary metastasis: poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, consistent with breast primary. 


At best, the only good clue that this lesion may be a metastasis rather than a far more common macroadenoma is the lack of pituitary fossa enlargement and slight 'fuzziness' to the masses outline. 


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Case information

rID: 33749
Case created: 22nd Jan 2015
Last edited: 27th Jun 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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