Pituitary abscess in an adolescent girl: A case report and review of the literature

Ricardo Zegarra-Linares, Kathleen C. Moltz, Nahed Abdel-Haq

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We report the case of a 15-year-old girl who presented with a history of recurrent bitemporal headaches for the last 2 months. In the prior few days, she complained of neck pain, emesis, phonophobia and photophobia, but no fever. Additional symptoms included polydipsia, polyuria and weight gain in the last year. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain demonstrated a cystic sellar and suprasellar mass with peripheral enhancement. Cerebrospinal fluid studies showed pleocytosis. Serum hormone levels were consistent with panhypopituitarism. Transnasal sphenoidotomy was performed, and 2 mL of purulent material was drained, confirming the diagnosis of pituitary abscess. The patient completed 6 weeks of parenteral antibiotics. She improved but continued to require home hormonal replacement therapy. A repeated MRI 3 months later showed abscess resolution. In addition to tumors, pituitary abscess should be considered in children who present with headache and panhypopituitarism, particularly in those who present with signs of meningeal inflammation. Prolonged parenteral antibiotics and surgical drainage are effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • children
  • panhypopituitarism
  • pituitary abscess


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