Pituitary metastases: presentation and outcomes from a pituitary center over the last decade

Kirstie Lithgow, I Siqueira, Latha Senthil, Han Chew, Swarupsinh Chavda, John Ayuk, Andrew Toogood, Neil Gittoes, T Matthews, R Batra, S Meade, Paul Sanghera, N Khan, S Ahmed, A Paluzzi, Georgios Tsermoulas, Niki Karavitaki

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Purpose: Highlight and characterize manifestations, diagnostic/management approaches and outcomes in a contemporary cohort of patients with pituitary metastases (PM) from a large European pituitary center-over 10 years.

Methods: Retrospective review of PM cases between 1/2009 and 12/2018. Clinical, laboratory, imaging data at PM detection and during follow-up were analysed.

Results: 18 cases were identified (14 females; median age at diagnosis 61.5 years). Most common primary malignancies were lung (39%) and breast (32%). Most frequent presenting manifestation was visual dysfunction (50%). Gonadotrophin, ACTH, TSH deficiency were diagnosed in 85%, 67%, 46% of cases, respectively; diabetes insipidus (DI) was present in 17%. 33% of cases were detected during investigation for symptoms unrelated to PM. PM management included radiotherapy (44%), transsphenoidal surgery (17%), transsphenoidal surgery and radiotherapy (6%) or monitoring only (33%). One-year survival was 49% with median survival from PM detection 11 months (range 2-47).

Conclusions: In our contemporary series, clinical presentation of PM has evolved; we found increased prevalence of anterior hypopituitarism, decreased rates of DI and longer survival compared with older literature. Increased availability of diagnostic imaging, improvements in screening and recognition of pituitary disease and longer survival of patients with metastatic cancer may be contributing factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258–265
Issue number3
Early online date18 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Cancer
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Malignancy
  • Metastases
  • Metastatic
  • Pituitary


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