Case Report of a Primary Pituitary Abscess and Systematic Literature Review of Pituitary Abscess with a Focus on Patient Outcomes.

World Neurosurg. 2017 May;101:76-92. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.01.077. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Case Report of a Primary Pituitary Abscess and Systematic Literature Review of Pituitary Abscess with a Focus on Patient Outcomes.



Pituitary abscess is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition with an incidence of 0.2%-1.1% of operative pituitary lesions. Diagnosis can be challenging, because this disorder shares many similarities with other pituitary lesions in terms of signs and symptoms and radiographic findings. Most pituitary abscesses are categorized as secondary, arising from preexisting pituitary lesions or in conjunction with transsphenoidal surgery, sepsis, meningitis, or sinusitis. There have been only a few reports of primary pituitary abscess, which occurs without any of the aforementioned risk factors.


We present a case of primary pituitary abscess in a 38-year-old woman with headaches, blurry vision, polyuria, and polydipsia who was found to have hypopituitarism. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed a sellar/suprasellar mass, which was endoscopically resected via a transsphenoidal approach. Egress of yellow-greenish creamy fluid was noted on dural incision. The patient was treated with a 6-week course of antibiotic therapy postoperatively and had resolution of symptoms.


A PubMed search was performed; all cases of pituitary abscess reported in the literature were screened, and 200 cases including our case were analyzed with a focus on outcomes. The most common presentations were headache, visual disturbance, and endocrine abnormalities. Approximately 66.1% of patients achieved partial or complete recovery of pituitary function; 75.7% with vision deficits recovered visual function. Treatment via a craniotomy had a recurrence rate of 17.2% compared with 9.7% via a transsphenoidal approach. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review on the topic and the largest series reported.


Antibiotic therapy; Endoscopic transsphenoidal resection; Pituitary abscess








Categories: Neurosurgery General

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: