Neurol India Home 

Year : 2012  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 678--679

Sellar solitary fibrous tumor mimicking pituitary adenoma

Qian Wu, Peizhi Zhou, Chuanhong Zhong, Shu Jiang 
 Department of Neurosurgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People's Republic of China

Correspondence Address:
Shu Jiang
Department of Neurosurgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, People«SQ»s Republic of China

How to cite this article:
Wu Q, Zhou P, Zhong C, Jiang S. Sellar solitary fibrous tumor mimicking pituitary adenoma .Neurol India 2012;60:678-679

How to cite this URL:
Wu Q, Zhou P, Zhong C, Jiang S. Sellar solitary fibrous tumor mimicking pituitary adenoma . Neurol India [serial online] 2012 [cited 2020 Mar 30 ];60:678-679
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A 53-year-old woman presented with decreased visual acuity of 1 month duration, and neurological examination confirmed the same. Endocrine workup revealed a mild increase in the serum prolactin level. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated a 2.4 cm ΄ 2.2 cm ΄ 1.8 cm mass with snowman configuration located in the sellar region. Some part of the mass exhibited isointensity on both T1-weighted and T2-weighted sequences, while the other parts exhibited hyperintensity [Figure 1]a and b. Subtotal resection of the tumor was done by a transnasal transsphenoidal approach. During the operation, the tumor was found to be tough and hypervascular and it invaded the basal bone of the pituitary fossa and sellar diaphragm. The specimen mainly contained short spindle cells positive for CD34, CD99 and bcl-2 [Figure 1]c on immunohistochemistry staining. The morphologic features and immunohistochemistry findings were that the tumor was of mesenchymal origin and consistent with solitary fibrous tumors (SFT). In the immediate postoperative period, transient central diabetes insipidus and hypopituitarism occurred, but there was marked improvement in her vision. She was discharged 10 days after surgery and the 3-month postoperative MRI showed small residual lesion. The patient refused to receive radiotherapy, and follow-up visits demonstrated no neurologic deficits and normal pituitary functions. There was no growth of the residual tumor 7 months after the surgery.{Figure 1}

SFTs are mesenchymal spindle cell tumors, and are characterized by positive immunoreactivity to CD34, vimentin and bcl-2. [1] These tumors were first described by Klemperer and Rabin in 1931. [2] They usually occur in the pleura; however, there have been reports from many extrapleural sites including the central nervous system (CNS). There were only three reports of sellar SFTs [3],[4],[5] [Table 1] one case of involvement of pituitary fossa. [6] The reported cases of SFTs of CNS were mostly intracranial and the age distribution was wide, from fetus to 81 year old, with no gender difference in the mortality. [7] Surgery is the first line of the treatment while radiotherapy can be considered in patients with subtotal resection. Long-term prognosis remains unclear and close, careful follow-up is strongly recommended. [5],[7]

Clinically, sellar SFTs present with visual disturbance because of the location of the tumor, and other symptoms include headache, ophthalmalgia and nocturia. [3],[4],[5] In our patient, the MRI revealed a mass with heterogeneous contrast enhancement similar to another reported case. [3] Intracranial SFTs on contrast MRI may have marked heterogeneous enhancement [8] or homogeneous or heterogeneous enhancement. [7] We consider that the heterogeneous contrast enhancement on MRI might be one of the characteristics of sellar SFT that differentiates nonfunctional pituitary adenoma preoperatively. The tumor was found to be tough and hypervascular during operation, which we think is another characteristic of sellar SFT. Our patient had transient central diabetes insipidus and hypopituitarism postoperatively and received hormone replacement therapy with tapering dosage schedules. One month later, her pituitary function recovered a lot and, 3 months later, the pituitary function almost recovered. We suggest monitoring the hormone profile and administering hormone replacement therapy in patients with sellar SFT, especially for those patients with hypopituitarism.


The additional immunohistochemical staining was supported by the Foundation of Science and Technology Department of Sichuan Provience (2009JY0032).

The authors would like to thank Xincheng Xue and Youping Li for helping with data collection and editing of the article.


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