BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.11.2011.5145
  • Unusual presentation of more common disease/injury

A rare ophthalmic presentation of pituitary metastases

  1. Wendy Adams1
  1. 1Ophthalmology Department, Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Sunderland, UK
  2. 2Endocrinology Department, City Hospitals Sunderland, Sunderland, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Qasim Mansoor, mans_qasim{at}


Metastasis to the pituitary gland is very uncommon and a first presentation of any systemic tumour through pituitary metastasis is rare. The authors report an 82-year-old Caucasian woman, well-controlled hypertensive and moderate smoker who presented with worsening diplopia. On ocular motility examination she had partial right third nerve paralysis along with reduced vision in the right eye and headache. MRI brain showed a large growth in the pituitary gland consisting with radiological features of pituitary macroadenoma. The initial chest x-ray showed a non-specific shadow that raised some suspicions and a CT scan of her thorax confirmed a right central bronchial carcinoma. The authors suggest that pituitary gland metastases be considered as part of the differential diagnosis for any patient presenting with a pituitary lesion, as pituitary disease could be the first manifestation of an underlying malignancy.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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