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Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Nov 1;8(11):14189-97. eCollection 2015.

Epistaxis and pituitary apoplexy due to ruptured internal carotid artery aneurysm embedded within pituitary adenoma.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, The Second People's Hospital of Jingzhou City Jingzhou, Hubei Province, China.
School of Medicine, Yale University New Haven, CT, 06511.


Epistaxis due to ruptured internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysm embedded within a pituitary adenoma (PA) has seldom been reported in the literature. Here we want to elaborate the incidence, mechanisms, clinical manifestations, and treatment strategy for this condition. The first survived case of a patient with epistaxis and pituitary apoplexy due to ruptured aneurysm embedded within PA was reported and the literature was reviewed. A 53-year-old male patient presented to our institution with sudden onset epistaxis and progressive vision loss. Neurological examination revealed bilateral ptosis and dilated unresponsive pupils. A CT scan showed a large mass in the pituitary fossa with bony erosion. MRI revealed a large pituitary tumor and abnormal signal intensity in the tumor. No aneurysm was noted during the pre-operative MR angiography. Abundant arterial bleeding suddenly occurred during urgent transsphenoidal surgery. Digital subtraction angiography confirmed the presence of a 14 mm unexpected saccular aneurysm of right ICA in the cavernous sinus with the dome protruding into the sella turcica. Balloon test occlusion of the right ICA was undertaken and permanent occlusion was performed. The patient recovered well and received bromocriptine and thyroid hormone replacement therapy during the follow-up period. At 14-month followup, the patient had no neurological deficits, no features of ischaemia relating to the right ICA therapeutic occlusion. Our case indicated that epistaxis and pituitary apoplexy could be due to the rupture of an ICA aneurysm embedded in a PA. Clinical suspicion should remain high when evaluating any case of epistaxis and pituitary apoplexy. Optimal treatment should take into consideration individual features of the tumor, aneurysm, and patient. Making the correct diagnosis as well as identifying an appropriate management strategy is critical in the care of such patients.


Cerebral aneurysm; epistaxis; pituitary adenoma; pituitary apoplexy

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