Cases reported "Nelson Syndrome"

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1/52. Progression of a Nelson's adenoma to pituitary carcinoma; a case report and review of the literature.

    A 25-year-old woman developed Nelson's syndrome, 3 years after successful bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing's disease. Despite pituitary surgery and radiotherapy the tumour showed invasive growth, leading to visual disturbance, paresis of the oculomotor nerve and, 34 years after adrenalectomy, to death by widespread purulent leptomeningitis. autopsy revealed a large adenohypophyseal carcinoma with a metastasis attached to the dura, both tumours showing immunocytochemical staining for ACTH and TSH. We review the literature on metastatic adenohypophyseal carcinoma in Cushing's disease and Nelson's syndrome and discuss the role of proliferation markers as indicators of malignant progression. ( info)

2/52. Complete remission of Nelson's syndrome after 1-year treatment with cabergoline.

    In this case report we demonstrated that treatment with the long-acting D2 receptor agonist cabergoline for 1 year induced normalization of plasma ACTH levels and disappearance of the pituitary tumor in a patient with Nelson's syndrome. A young man underwent bilateral adrenalectomy and subsequent pituitary irradiation for Cushing's disease after unsuccessful neurosurgical treatment. Thereafter, he was given cortisone acetate replacement at the dose of 62.5 mg a day. Fifteen months after pituitary irradiation, he developed Nelson's syndrome, having skin hyperpigmentation, high plasma ACTH levels (376 ng/l) and a pituitary microadenoma (5 mm) documented at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pituitary region. After 6 months of cabergoline treatment, given at the dose of 1 mg a week, plasma ACTH levels were significantly decreased (from 376 to 113 ng/l) but they were not normalized. Cabergoline dose was then increased up to 2 mg a week. Six months later plasma ACTH levels were normalized (22 ng/l) and MRI demonstrated the disappearance of the pituitary adenoma. In order to investigate on the direct effect played by cabergoline treatment on the remission of Nelson's syndrome, the treatment was withdrawn. plasma ACTH levels significantly increased (119 ng/l) after 3 months of treatment withdrawal. At the last follow-up, during cabergoline treatment at the dose of 2 mg/week plasma ACTH levels were normalized (40.4 ng/l). This case demonstrated that cabergoline treatment is able to induce the remission of Nelson's syndrome and may be a valid therapeutic alternative in this syndrome. ( info)

3/52. Coexisting corticotroph and lactotroph adenomas: case report with reference to the relationship of corticotropin and prolactin excess.

    A 57-year-old obese woman with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, and a 40-year history of secondary amenorrhea was diagnosed with corticotropin-dependent Cushing's syndrome. Dynamic endocrine testing and radiological evaluation did not reveal definitively the source of the excess corticotropin. Bilateral adrenalectomy was performed with resolution of the signs and symptoms of hypercortisolism. Four years later, the patient was noted to have rising serum corticotropin levels and an enlarging pituitary mass; hyperprolactinemia also was documented. A diagnosis of Nelson-Salassa syndrome was made, and she underwent a transsphenoidal adenomectomy. A histological examination of the specimen revealed two distinct, albeit contiguous, adenomas: a corticotroph adenoma and a lactotroph adenoma. Postoperatively, the serum prolactin and corticotropin levels decreased significantly. Although the stalk section effect resulting from compression by a pituitary adenoma can raise serum prolactin levels, a concurrent lactotroph adenoma should be considered in patients with nonfunctional or functional pituitary adenomas of other types associated with significantly elevated prolactin levels. The mechanisms underlying simultaneous adrenocorticotropic hormone and prolactin excess are discussed. ( info)

4/52. Nelson's syndrome following partial pituitary microadenomectomy and pregnancy.

    We report for the first time the development of Nelson's syndrome in a patient who had previously undergone unsuccessful pituitary microadenomectomy and subsequently bilateral adrenalectomy. The removal of a 3-mm portion of a microadenoma did not protect against the development of Nelson's syndrome within 3 years which was closely related to pregnancy, a previously noted association. This report suggests that the development of Nelson's syndrome depends not on the size of the initial pituitary tumour but rather on its individual potential for proliferating once free of the inhibitory effects of glucocorticoid excess. ( info)

5/52. An unusual presentation of Nelson's syndrome with apoplexy and subarachnoid hemorrhage.

    A thirty-eight year-old lady with a history of bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing's disease seven years previously, presented with sudden onset of severe headache, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness. She was somnolent and confused. She had neck stiffness, sixth nerve palsy and mydriasis on the left side. Computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies revealed a non-homogeneous, grade IV D pituitary mass lesion associated with hemorrhage in the chiasmatic, interhemispheric, cerebellopontine, perimesencephalic cisterns and a hematoma within the frontal lobe. angiography showed only bilateral elevation of horizontal segments of the anterior cerebral arteries. According to this angiographic evidence, it was presumed that the subarachnoid hemorrhage and the intracerebral hematoma were linked to pituitary adenoma apoplexy. ACTH level was 450 pg/ml. The hemorrhagic lesion with suprasellar extension was totally removed by left pterional craniotomy. Histological examination revealed a necrotic, acth-secreting pituitary adenoma. Even though apoplexy is a well known complication of pituitary adenomas, to our knowledge subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hematoma as a result of pituitary apoplexy in the context of Nelson's syndrome has not previously been reported. ( info)

6/52. Nelson's syndrome: complete remission with cabergoline but not with bromocriptine or cyproheptadine treatment.

    A woman affected by Cushing's disease underwent bilateral adrenalectomy followed by radiotherapy of the hypothalamic-pituitary area when she was 18 years old. Thereafter, she used hydrocortisone acetate replacement therapy (35.5 mg divided into two daily doses). At the age of 26 years, the patient exhibited the clinical signs of the Nelson's syndrome, i.e. skin and gingival hyperpigmentation accompanied by amenorrhea, and elevated ACTH plasma levels (2,850 pg/ml, normal range 15-80 pg/ml). The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis of the sellar region evidenced a pituitary macroadenoma, measuring 14 x 13 mm. The patient was initially treated with cyproheptadine hydrochloride (12 mg/day) for 18 months. There was a partial improvement of the symptoms, with a reduction of the ACTH plasma levels to 112 pg/ml, but without any modification of the tumor mass. Due to sleepiness and weight gain, the cyproheptadine treatment was interrupted and substituted by a cabergoline (0.5 mg twice a week) therapy. Soon after cabergoline was applied an improvement of the clinical symptoms and signs was observed such as a regression of the tumor mass and the normalization of the ACTH plasma titers (38 pg/ml). Later, cabergoline was substituted by bromocriptine (7.5 mg/day) and the plasma levels of ACTH increased again (247 pg/ml), and headache and cutaneous hyperpigmentation were recorded. When cabergoline was reintroduced there was a clinical improvement and normalization of ACTH plasma levels (64 pg/ml). The MRI analysis of the sella region demonstrated a complete remission of the pituitary adenoma. The results obtained show for the first time that a long-term treatment with cabergoline also brings about a complete remission of Nelson's syndrome in the presence of a pituitary macroadenoma. ( info)

7/52. The Nelson's syndrome... revisited.

    adrenalectomy is a radical therapeutic approach to control hypercortisolism in some patients with Cushing's disease. However it may be complicated by the Nelson's syndrome, defined by the association of a pituitary macroadenoma and high ACTH secretion after adrenalectomy. This definition has not changed since the end of the fifties. Today the Nelson's syndrome must be revisited with new to criteria using more sensitive diagnostic tools, especially the pituitary magnetic resonance imaging. In this paper we will review the pathophysiological aspects of corticotroph tumor growth, with reference to the impact of adrenalectomy. The main epidemiological data on the Nelson's syndrome will be presented. More importantly, we will propose a new pathophysiological and practical approach to this question which attempts to evaluate the Corticotroph Tumor Progression after adrenalectomy, rather than to diagnose the Nelson's syndrome. We will discuss the consequences for the management of Cushing's disease patients after adrenalectomy, and will also draw some perspectives. ( info)

8/52. Rosiglitazone for prevention or adjuvant treatment of Nelson's syndrome after bilateral adrenalectomy.

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of Rosiglitazone in three patients treated with bilateral adrenalectomy followed by hyperpigmentation and hypersecretion of ACTH. patients AND methods: One patient had increasing ACTH after previous transsphenoidal surgery for Nelson's syndrome, and two patients without pituitary adenomas had recurrence of Cushing's disease after primary and repeated transsphenoidal surgery with need for bilateral adrenalectomy. The patients developed hyperpigmentation and increasing ACTH at nadir 2-4 h after morning hydrocortisone dose. ACTH during Rosiglitazone therapy (4 mg/day for 4 weeks and then 8 mg/day) was measured at regular intervals 24 h after the latest dose of hydrocortisone. RESULTS: In two patients there was a decrease in ACTH by 40% after 5 months. The first of these patients showed an escape with increasing ACTH to the initial value after 11 months. In the third patient no effect was observed. Tumour development or progression on magnetic resonance imaging was not observed. CONCLUSION: Rosiglitazone might represent an adjuvant therapy in patients with ACTH hypersecretion. Larger long-term studies are needed. ( info)

9/52. Cushing's disease: dilemmas of diagnosis and management.

    Determining the cause of Cushing's disease and correcting the abnormality presents a continuing challenge to the clinician despite remarkable advances in diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. We present seven cases to illustrate 1) the classic disorder cured by pituitary adenomectomy; 2) persistence of the disease after adenomectomy; 3) Cushing's disease manifesting in the puerperium and remitting with dopamine agonist therapy; 4) a patient whose disease relapsed at least five times during 20 years of treatment by adrenalectomy, pituitary radiation, mitotane, and pituitary adenomectomy; 5) the nelson syndrome; 6) the ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) syndrome in a patient with dexamethasone suppressible urinary cortisol who had a pituitary adenoma which stained positively for ACTH but who was not cured by total hypophysectomy; and 7) a patient whose ACTH-secreting tumor proved fatal despite repeated surgical, radiologic and pharmacologic measures. ( info)

10/52. Pituitary corticotroph hyperplasia preceding adenoma in a patient with Nelson's syndrome.

    We report the case of a 42-year-old woman with Cushing's disease and Nelson's syndrome. When she was 17 years old, transsphenoidal surgery was performed. A detailed morphologic study demonstrated nodular hyperplasia of corticotroph cells but no adenoma. Following a long-lasting remission (14 years), Cushing's disease recurred. After an unsuccessful second transsphenoidal surgery, Cushing's disease persisted and both adrenals were removed (at the age of 34). Subsequently the patient developed Nelson's syndrome. The pituitary tumor proved to be a corticotroph adenoma; it was removed by the transsphenoidal approach (at the age of 42). Although in most patients Cushing's disease is due to an ACTH-secreting pituitary corticotroph adenoma which precedes the manifestation of Nelson's syndrome, our case indicates not only that corticotroph hyperplasia may cause Cushing's disease but that it may exist before the development of Nelson's syndrome after the removal of both adrenals. Our study supports the view that protracted stimulation of corticotrophs resulting from the elimination of the negative inhibitory feedback effect by corticosteroids plays a role in adenoma initiation. ( info)
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