The authors report the case of a 49-year-old man with synchronous drop metastases from a multiply recurrent somatotroph pituitary adenoma. The metastatic lesions were found in the subarachnoid space of the cauda equina and foramen magnum 18 years after the initial diagnosis of the disease. Five transsphenoidal resections had previously failed to cure the sellar tumor. Two of these, performed 4 and 5 years before the patient's current presentation, had been complicated by cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea that necessitated lumbar drainage. Resections of the two subarachnoid lesions, separated by 14 months, removed pathologically aggressive pituitary adenomas. There were no signs of local recurrence or subarachnoid dissemination of disease during the postoperative follow-up periods, which lasted 18 and 4 months, respectively. Previous cases of subarachnoid spread of a pituitary adenoma have been associated with multiple intracranial metastases, multiple intraspinal metastases, or widely disseminated disease. This case demonstrates that subarachnoid metastasis of a pituitary adenoma, particularly when it follows multiple operations, is not invariably widely disseminated or associated with a very poor prognosis.
View details for Web of Science ID 000182619000032
View details for PubMedID 12744376