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Eur J Endocrinol. 1997 Nov;137(5):514-9.

Diabetes insipidus from sarcoidosis confined to the posterior pituitary.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, USA.


A young white man with new-onset central diabetes insipidus was discovered to have a posterior pituitary mass on magnetic resonance imaging. No other radiological abnormalities were noted in the anterior pituitary, infundibulum or hypothalamus. No other endocrinopathies were present: laboratory investigations showed normal basal concentrations of anterior pituitary hormones, including prolactin. The patient was suspected to have sarcoidosis affecting the posterior pituitary, because of the discovery of pulmonary sarcoidosis during his diagnostic evaluation. His symptoms of polydipsia and polyuria responded promptly to intranasal administration of 1-desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP). The patient demonstrated complete regression of the posterior pituitary mass after a course of corticosteroid therapy. However, his diabetes insipidus persisted and he continues to need DDAVP treatment, currently at 12 months of follow-up. The resolution of the neurohypophysial mass was compatible with the diagnosis of pituitary sarcoidosis and this precluded the need for a transsphenoidal biopsy or surgery.

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