To our knowledge, only one case of a TSH-secreting carcinoma has previously been reported. We describe here a second patient with a pituitary carcinoma producing TSH and prolactin (PRL). A 37-year-old male underwent a left frontotemporal craniotomy in 1996 for a sellar mass. Except for mildly increased PRL and elevated α-subunit, hormone evaluation was normal. Pathologic examination revealed a chromophobe adenoma with increased mitotic forms. The patient completed a course of external beam radiation to the pituitary and was prescribed l-thyroxine, bromocriptine, and hydrocortisone. He was lost to follow-up but did well for 6 years, until 2002, when he presented with TSH-dependent thyrotoxicosis and hyperprolactinemia. The patient was started on bromocriptine and propylthiouracil and was, again, lost to follow-up. In 2004, 9 years after his initial presentation, he presented after falling. Magnetic resonance imaging showed two brain masses with associated midline shift. Emergent resection of the larger mass revealed a pituitary cancer with positive staining for PRL, but not for TSH. Nine months later, the patient underwent further debulking of metastatic disease. Although development of a carcinoma from a pituitary adenoma is very rare (<0.5%), macroadenomas that become hormonally active should be suspect for transformation into pituitary cancer.
Rebecca L Brown, Tariq Muzzafar, Robert Wollman, and Roy E Weiss
Lisa L Morselli, Arlet Nedeltcheva, Rachel Leproult, Karine Spiegel, Enio Martino, Jean-Jacques Legros, Roy E Weiss, Jean Mockel, Eve Van Cauter, and Georges Copinschi
We previously reported that adult patients with GH deficiency (GHD) due to a confirmed or likely pituitary defect, compared with healthy controls individually matched for age, gender, and BMI, have more slow-wave sleep (SWS) and higher delta activity (a marker of SWS intensity). Here, we examined the impact of recombinant human GH (rhGH) therapy, compared with placebo, on objective sleep quality in a subset of patients from the same cohort.
Single-blind, randomized, crossover design study.
Fourteen patients with untreated GHD of confirmed or likely pituitary origin, aged 22–74 years, participated in the study. Patients with associated hormonal deficiencies were on appropriate replacement therapy. Polygraphic sleep recordings, with bedtimes individually tailored to habitual sleep times, were performed after 4 months on rhGH or placebo.
Valid data were obtained in 13 patients. At the end of the rhGH treatment period, patients had a shorter sleep period time than at the end of the placebo period (479±11 vs 431±19 min respectively; P=0.005), primarily due to an earlier wake-up time, and a decrease in the intensity of SWS (delta activity) (559±125 vs 794±219 μV2 respectively; P=0.048).
Four months of rhGH replacement therapy partly reversed sleep disturbances previously observed in untreated patients. The decrease in delta activity associated with rhGH treatment adds further evidence to the hypothesis that the excess of high-intensity SWS observed in untreated pituitary GHD patients is likely to result from overactivity of the hypothalamic GHRH system due to the lack of negative feedback inhibition by GH.