Clinical Characteristics, Management, and Treatment Outcomes of Primary Hypophysitis: A Monocentric Cohort

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Oguz S. H. , Soylemezoglu F., ŞENDUR S. N. , Mut M., Oguz K. K. , DAĞDELEN S., ...More

HORMONE AND METABOLIC RESEARCH, vol.52, no.4, pp.220-227, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/a-1113-7777
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.220-227
  • Keywords: hypophysitis, primary hypophysitis, hypopituitarism, immunoglobulin G4, pituitary adenoma, apoplexy, PRIMARY AUTOIMMUNE HYPOPHYSITIS, SINGLE-CENTER, DIAGNOSIS
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Primary hypophysitis (PH) is a rare autoimmune inflammatory disease of the pituitary gland. The aim of the study was to evaluate clinical characteristics, disease management, and outcomes of cases with PH. Medical records of PH patients admitted to Hacettepe University Hospital between 1999 and 2017 were analyzed retrospectively. Paraffin-embedded pathology blocks were obtained for both re-examination and IgG4 immunostaining. Twenty PH patients (15 females, 5 males) were evaluated. Mean age at diagnosis was 41.5 +/- 13.4 years. Some form of hormonal disorder was present in 63.2% of cases, hypogonadism (66.6%) being the most common. Panhypopituitarism was present in 36.8%. All patients had pituitary gland enlargement on magnetic resonance imaging; stalk thickening and loss of neurohypophyseal bright spot were present in 17.6 and 23.5%, respectively. Lymphocytic hypophysitis was the most common histopathological subtype (50%). Among pathology specimens available for IgG and IgG4 immunostaining (n=10), none fulfilled the criteria for IgG4-related hypophysitis. Four patients were given glucocorticoid treatment in diverse protocols; as initial therapy in 3. Sixteen cases underwent surgery, 7 of whom due to neuro-ophthalmologic involvement. Only 1 patient was observed without any intervention. Reduction of pituitary enlargement was seen in all surgical and glucocorticoid treated cases. None of the surgical patients showed hormonal improvement while one case in glucocorticoid group improved. PH should be considered in the differential diagnosis of sellar masses causing hormonal deficiencies. MRI findings are usually helpful, but not yet sufficient for definitive diagnosis of PH. Treatment usually improves symptoms and reduces sellar masses while hormonal recovery is less common.