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  • Asian Journal of Surgery (2013) 36, 93e97

    Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

    journal homepage: www.e-asianjournalsurgery.com


    IgG4-related hypophysitis presenting as a pituitaryadenoma with systemic disease

    Ming-Tai Hsing a, Hui-Ting Hsu b, Chun-Yuan Cheng a, Chien-Min Chen a,*

    aDepartment of Neurosurgery, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, TaiwanbDepartment of Surgical Pathology, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan

    Received 15 April 2011; received in revised form 22 June 2011; accepted 1 September 2011Available online 24 May 2012

    KEYWORDShypophysitis;hypopituitarism;IgG4-related disease;inflammatorypseudotumor

    * Corresponding author. DepartmentE-mail address: 96015@cch.org.tw

    1015-9584/$36 Copyright 2012, Asiadoi:10.1016/j.asjsur.2012.04.013

    Summary Hypophysitis is a rare inflammatory disorder that can mimic a pituitary tumor clin-ically or radiologically. Furthermore, immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related systemic disease isonly a just recently characterized disorder. It can manifest as a systemic disease involvingmultiple organs, including the pancreas, salivary glands, lungs, liver, bile duct, gallbladder,kidneys, and retroperitoneum. It is characterized by a high serum level of IgG4 clinicallyand dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltration with sclerosis and phlebitis histologically. Herein,we report the case of a man 66 years of age who presented with nausea, vomiting, and poorappetite with a body weight loss of 4 kg. Image study revealed a pituitary infundibulum mass,right-posterior mediastinal and paraspinal masses, as well as infiltrating masses in bilateralkidneys. Therefore, he received a thoracoscopic biopsy for the right-posterior mediastinaland paraspinal masses and a pathologic examination reported an IgG4-related inflammatorypseudotumor. Then, transsphenoidal removal of the infundibulum mass was performed. Histo-logically, the infundibulum mass represented a IgG4-related hypophysitis manifested as aninfiltration of plasma cells, lymphocytes, histiocytes, and some eosinophils with a fair numberof IgG4-immunoreactive plasma cells. After the operation was complete, the patient took 5 mgof prednisolone every 2 days for 3 months. A follow-up computed tomography scan revealedimprovement of the infiltrating masses in the bilateral kidneys.Copyright 2012, Asian Surgical Association. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rightsreserved.

    of Neurosurgery, Changhua Christian Hospital, Number 135 Nan-Hsiao Street, Changhua 500, Taiwan.(C.-M. Chen).

    n Surgical Association. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.


  • 94 M.-T. Hsing et al.

    1. Introduction

    Immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related sclerosing disease isa recently identified entity. Pancreatic involvement is themost common manifestation. However, other systemicinvolvement has also been reported, including the hep-atobiliary tract, salivary glands, orbit, lymph nodes, ret-roperitoneum, aorta, mediastinum, soft tissue, skin, thecentral nervous system, breasts, kidneys, prostate, upperaerodigestive tract, and lungs.1,2 Hypophysitis is a rareinflammatory disorder and IgG4-related sclerosing diseaseinvolving the pituitary glands is especially rare.1 Imagingstudies may reveal a mass lesion in the sellar area ora thickening of pituitary stalk, mimicking a pituitary tumor.Clinically, most patients present with hypopituitarism,diabetes insipidus, and/or a local mass effect. Serum IgG4level is always elevated.3 Histopathologically, IgG4-relatedsclerosing disease is characterized by dense lympho-plasmacytic infiltration, stromal sclerosis, and the presenceof phlebitis.1 Immunohistochemical study can demonstrateincreased IgG4-positive plasma cells. In our current report,we describe an elderly Chinese man diagnosed with IgG4-related hypophysitis associated with multiple organinvolvement but who lacked pancreatitis. His clinicalmanifestation improved dramatically after he receivedsteroid treatment.

    2. Case report

    A man aged 66 years presented with nausea, vomiting, poorappetite, and body weight loss of 4 kilograms in 1 month.He had a history of acute cholecystitis status post-cholecystectomy and chronic hypertrophic rhinitis.Anorexia and fatigue were also noted. His condition did notimprove after he asked help from the Show Chwan Memo-rial Hospital Changhua, Taiwan and a postmediastinal masswith diffuse mediastinal lymph node enlargement wasrevealed by chest computed tomography (CT) scan. Then,he was transferred to our hospital. Physical examinationrevealed no specific findings. The chest CT scan demon-strated a 2.4-cm nodule in the right middle lobe abuttingthe right pericardial pleura and an infiltrating right-posterior mediastinal and paraspinal masses with pleuralextension (Fig. 1A). No extension to bone or intraspinalcanals was noted. There were multiple mediastinal lymphnode enlargements, with the largest being a diameter ofabout 17 mm in the aortopulmonary window (AP) windowregion. In addition, bilateral infiltrating masses were notedin the upper kidney level (Fig. 1B). The stomach alsodemonstrated focal thickening of the wall over the lessercurvature side.

    The patient first received a thoracoscopic biopsy, anda pathologic examination reported an inflammatory pseu-dotumor, suggestive of IgG4-related sclerosing disease. Afterthoracoscopic biopsy, his condition still did not improve andlaboratory tests revealed eosinophilia (7.9%), a low testos-terone level (0.008 ng/ml; reference range, 1.66e8.11 ng/ml) and primary hypoadrenalism with a low cortisol level(0.65 mg/dl before 10 AM; reference range, 4.46e22.69 mg/dl)and an elevated adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level(56.1 pg/ml; reference range, 46 pg/ml), but other

    pituitary hormones were within the normal range. Thebrain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrateda 2.4-cm, well-defined mass in the sella turcica, showingisointense on a T1- and T2-weighted image with strongenhancement after injection of the contrast medium(Fig. 2). No residual normal pituitary tissue of theposterior lobe was noted. The mass lesion extendedupward and compressed the optic chiasm. Macroadenomawas initially suspected. Then, he commenced glucocorti-coid replacement therapy and received transsphenoidalremoval of the infundibulum mass.

    After the operation, the patient kept taking 5 mg ofprednisolone every 2 days for 3 months and a follow-up CTscan revealed a significant decrease in the size of thepreviously noted nodule in right middle lobe, posteriormediastinal and right paraspinal masses (Fig. 1C) and priorinfiltrating masses in both kidneys (Fig. 1D).

    The received specimen of the thoracoscopic biopsyconsisted of one tissue fragment measuring1.3 0.6 0.2 cm in size. Grossly, it was grayish and firm.Microscopically, the fibrous tissue fragment showed bland-appearing spindle cell proliferation in the fibrotic or scle-rotic background with marked infiltration of lymphocytes,plasma cells, as well as eosinophils and focal lymphoidfollicle formation (Fig. 3A). Focal vasculitis was alsopresent (Fig. 3B). Immunohistochemistry for the kand llight chains showed no light chain restriction in theseplasma cells. The immunohistochemical study for IgG4showed abundant positive plasma cells (more than 30 perhigh power field (400) HPF). This is shown in Fig. 3C.

    Seven tiny pieces of tan-soft tissue specimens,measuring up to 0.2 0.1 0.1 cm in size, werereceivedfor pathologic examination. Microscopic examinationrevealed the specimen consisted mainly of neurohypophy-sial tissue by lymphocytes, plasma cells, and eosinophilswith stromal edema and mild fibrosis (Fig. 4A). The reticulinhighlighted a fragment of adenohypophysial tissue.Theimmunohistochemical study of the IgG4 stain highlighteda fair number of IgG4 immunoreactive plasma cells(Fig. 4B). Taken together, IgG4-related hypophysitis wasdiagnosed.

    3. Discussion

    In 1961, Sarles and colleagues1 first raised the concept thatsome cases of chronic pancreatitis resulted from an auto-immune etiology. In 1995, Yoshida and coworkers 4 intro-duced the term autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP),characterized by mass lesions in the pancreas, narrowing ofthe pancreatic duct, painless obstructive jaundice, andfavorable response to steroid therapy. In 2001, Hamano andothers5 first found elevated serum IgG4, increased IgG4-positive plasma cells, and lymphoplasmacytic sclerosingchange in a specific subtype of sclerosing pancreatitis.Then, a distinct subtype of AIP, named IgG4-related scle-rosing pancreatitis, was designated. However, other sitesof involvement have subsequently also been noted,including hepatobiliary tract, salivary glands, orbit, lymphnodes, retroperitoneum, aorta, mediastinum, soft tissues,lymph nodes, bone marrow, skin, the central nervoussystem, breasts, kidneys, prostate, upper aerodigestive

  • Figure 1 (A) Infiltrating right posterior mediastinal and paraspinal masses with pleural extension; (B) bilateral infiltrating massesin both kidneys; (C) after steroid treatment, there was a significant decrease in the size of the previously noted nodule in theposterior mediastinal and right paraspinal masses, (D) as well as in the prior infiltrating masses in both kidneys.

    IgG4-related hypophysitis 95

    tract, and lungs.1,2 For this reason, the concept of the IgG4-related systemic disease was proposed. IgG4-related scle-rosing disease is defined as a systemic syndrome andcharacterized by mass-forming lesions clinically. Thehistologic triad includes lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates,sclerosis, and obliterative phlebitis.1 There are numerousIgG4-


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