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C A S E    O F   T H E   M O N T H


PITUITARY ADENOMA

A 45 year old lady presented with a one year history of blurring of vision. She was prescribed corrective lenses but her blurring of vision continued to progress over the next few months. In addition, she noticed that she developed “tunnel vision” and was unable to see things that are not at the center of her visual field. She stopped having menses and started complaining of headache.

On physical examination, the patient had poor vision and was not able to see things at the periphery. MRI of the brain showed a tumor arising from the pituitary gland. This gland is a small pea-sized organ located in the center of the brain. It is also called the “master gland” because it produces several hormones that are responsible for the proper functioning of the body.

Blood tests revealed slightly elevated prolactin levels due to compression of the pituitary gland. The rest of the hormone levels were normal.

The patient underwent transphenoidal excision of the pituitary tumor, a brain operation wherein the tumor is removed via a small opening in the nostril. Special instruments are inserted into the part of the brain where the tumor is located, and the tumor is excised in small pieces until it is completely removed.

After the surgery, the patient noted immediate improvement in her vision. She was able to read the newspaper and could see from the sides of her visual field as well. MRI taken 3 months after surgery showed complete disappearnce of the tumor

     
 
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