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J Neurooncol. 2009 Jan;91(1):113-6. doi: 10.1007/s11060-008-9687-1. Epub 2008 Aug 31.

Sarcoidosis of the pineal gland: an unusual presentation of neurosarcoidosis.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery and Brain Tumor Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, UCSF School of Medicine, 505 Parnassus Ave. Rm. M779, San Francisco, CA, 94143-0112, USA.



Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by noncaseating granulomas that is rarely found as primary CNS pathology. We report an unusual case of sarcoidosis involving the pineal gland with radiographic, histopathology, and clinical data.


A 45-year-old man without evidence of systemic sarcoidosis presented with a history of gradual onset of blurry vision and diplopia that progressed over 3 months. MR imaging demonstrated an enhancing mass in the pineal region. A suboccipital craniotomy was performed with resection of the mass through a supra-cerebellar infratentorial approach. Histopathologic analysis did not reveal a pineoblastoma but instead revealed noncaseating granulomas within the pineal gland. Extensive hematologic laboratory examinations, cerebral spinal fluid studies, and cultures for infection were all negative. This mass lesion was diagnosed as solitary neurosarcoidosis of the pineal gland, without dissemination. The patient was treated with steroids and at 4-year follow-up is asymptomatic with an unremarkable MRI scan.


This is an unusual case of pineal sarcoidosis mimicking a tumor with associated MRI, CT and histopathologic findings reported together. Although rare, sarcoidosis of the pineal gland should not be excluded from a comprehensive differential diagnosis of an enhancing pineal region mass.

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