Am J Case Rep 2017 Apr 12;18:391-394. Epub 2017 Apr 12.
Department of Medicine, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
BACKGROUND Primary pituitary tuberculosis (in absence of other organ involvement and constitutional symptoms) is an extremely rare disease with total reported cases in the literature fewer than a hundred. Misdiagnosis as pituitary adenoma is common and late diagnosis can result in a permanent endocrine dysfunction and/or long-term neurologic sequelae. CASE REPORT We report on the case of a middle-aged woman who presented with severe headache and left third cranial nerve palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a large pituitary tumor invading the left cavernous sinus. The case was initially misdiagnosed as pituitary adenoma. A pituitary biopsy was performed and was suggestive of pituitary tuberculosis. Extensive radiologic investigations did not reveal any evidence of other organ involvement by tuberculosis. She was successfully treated with anti-tuberculous medications. CONCLUSIONS In areas with a high pre-test probability of tuberculosis, pituitary tuberculosis should be included in the differential diagnosis of pituitary tumors in order to avoid unnecessary surgical interventions. Besides being the first histologically-proven primary pituitary tuberculosis case reported from Qatar, the current case is unique in that extensive radiologic investigations did not reveal any evidence of other systemic or pulmonary tuberculosis.