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Horm Res. 2009;72(1):57-62. doi: 10.1159/000224342. Epub 2009 Jun 30.

Isolated lymphocytic infiltration of pituitary stalk preceding the diagnosis of germinoma in 2 prepubertal children treated with growth hormone.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Children's Hospital, Toulouse, France.


We report the clinical course of 2 patients with central diabetes insipidus and evolving to panyhypopituitarism which prompted the diagnosis of an isolated pituitary stalk thickening (PST). In both patients, all etiological investigations were normal and the first biopsy revealed an isolated lymphocytic infiltrate with no sign of malignancy. Close clinical follow-up accompanied by serial brain MRIs was proposed to determine a precise diagnosis and for early detection and treatment of neoplastic disease. In our first case, the diagnosis of germinoma was made 9 months after the PST diagnosis owing to tumor progression. In the second case, the time course was even longer with the diagnosis of germinoma 6 years following initial presentation. In these cases, it is speculated that the lymphocytic infiltrates represent the first sign of a host reaction to an occult germinoma. To our knowledge, this is the third case reported of lymphocytic infiltrates preceding a germinoma in a prepubertal girl, and the only case reported in a prepubertal boy. These cases underline the difficulties in establishing the diagnosis of germinoma in a patient with isolated PST.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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