Pituitary carcinoma

An ultrastructural study of eleven cases

B. W. Scheithauer, F. Fereidooni, E. Horvath, K. Kovacs, P. Robbins, D. Tews, K. Henry, P. Pernicone, Jr Galley T.A., F. B. Meyer, William Francis Young, R. Fahlbusch, M. Buchfelder, R. V. Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pituitary carcinomas are very rare. Defined as adenohypophysial. tumors that undergo craniospinal and/or systemic metastasis, most are PRL- or ACTH-producing. Their ultrastructural features, particularly relative to benign adenomas of similar functional type, have not been sufficiently explored. Eleven cases of immunohistochemically characterized pituitary carcinoma with documented cerebrospinal and/or systemic metastases were collected from various institutions and studied by transmission electron microscopy. The tumors were surgically removed from 7 women and 4 men ranging in age between 28 and 74 years (mean, 50 years). All were endocrinologically functioning. Six tumors secreted PRL; three were ACTH-producing; one each was GH/PRL- and TSH-producing. The patients with the ACTH-producing tumors had all presented with Cushing's disease and two of them had undergone adrenalectomy (Nelson syndrome). In most cases significant cellular atypia and mitotic activity were observed. In terms of morphologic features of functional differentiation, electron microscopy revealed that in 9 cases the tumor cells maintained at least some ultrastructural markers of their basic phenotype. A unique feature in 2 ACTH carcinomas was the variable admixture of smooth endoplasmic reticulum with intermediate (cytokeratin) filaments. In 2 cases, both PRL-producing carcinomas, the cell type comprising the tumor could not be identified on an ultrastructural basis alone. Ultrastructural investigation of pituitary carcinomas confirms their endocrine nature and, in most but not all cases, reveals their functional differentiation. Despite the diagnostic utility of electron microscopy in the assessment of these rare tumors, the distinction of pituitary carcinoma from pituitary adenoma cannot be firmly made on ultrastructural grounds alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-242
Number of pages16
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pituitary Neoplasms
adrenocorticotropin (ACTH)
Tumors
tumors
cancer
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Neoplasms
metastasis
Electron microscopy
electron microscopy
Electron Microscopy
Nelson Syndrome
Neoplasm Metastasis
Carcinoma
endoplasmic reticulum
Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum
Pituitary ACTH Hypersecretion
phenotype
Intermediate Filaments
Adrenalectomy

Keywords

  • Adrenocorticotropin
  • Metastasis
  • Pituitary carcinoma
  • Prolactin
  • Somatotropin
  • Thyrotropin
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Instrumentation
  • Structural Biology

Cite this

Scheithauer, B. W., Fereidooni, F., Horvath, E., Kovacs, K., Robbins, P., Tews, D., ... Lloyd, R. V. (2001). Pituitary carcinoma: An ultrastructural study of eleven cases. Ultrastructural Pathology, 25(3), 227-242. https://doi.org/10.1080/019131201300343865

Pituitary carcinoma : An ultrastructural study of eleven cases. / Scheithauer, B. W.; Fereidooni, F.; Horvath, E.; Kovacs, K.; Robbins, P.; Tews, D.; Henry, K.; Pernicone, P.; Galley T.A., Jr; Meyer, F. B.; Young, William Francis; Fahlbusch, R.; Buchfelder, M.; Lloyd, R. V.

In: Ultrastructural Pathology, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2001, p. 227-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Scheithauer, BW, Fereidooni, F, Horvath, E, Kovacs, K, Robbins, P, Tews, D, Henry, K, Pernicone, P, Galley T.A., J, Meyer, FB, Young, WF, Fahlbusch, R, Buchfelder, M & Lloyd, RV 2001, 'Pituitary carcinoma: An ultrastructural study of eleven cases', Ultrastructural Pathology, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 227-242. https://doi.org/10.1080/019131201300343865
Scheithauer BW, Fereidooni F, Horvath E, Kovacs K, Robbins P, Tews D et al. Pituitary carcinoma: An ultrastructural study of eleven cases. Ultrastructural Pathology. 2001;25(3):227-242. https://doi.org/10.1080/019131201300343865
Scheithauer, B. W. ; Fereidooni, F. ; Horvath, E. ; Kovacs, K. ; Robbins, P. ; Tews, D. ; Henry, K. ; Pernicone, P. ; Galley T.A., Jr ; Meyer, F. B. ; Young, William Francis ; Fahlbusch, R. ; Buchfelder, M. ; Lloyd, R. V. / Pituitary carcinoma : An ultrastructural study of eleven cases. In: Ultrastructural Pathology. 2001 ; Vol. 25, No. 3. pp. 227-242.
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