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Case report
Central diabetes insipidus caused by a pituitary stalk germinoma resembling infundibuloneurohypophysitis
  1. Daniela Dias1,
  2. Helena Vilar1,
  3. João Passos2 and
  4. Valeriano Leite1,3
  1. 1Endocrinology, Instituto Portugues de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil EPE, Lisbon, Portugal
  2. 2Neurology, Instituto Portugues de Oncologia de Lisboa Francisco Gentil EPE, Lisbon, Portugal
  3. 3Nova Medical School/Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniela Dias; daniela_dias10{at}


We report the case of a pituitary stalk germinoma initially misdiagnosed and treated as infundibuloneurohypophysitis (INH). A 27-year-old man presented with a 1-year history of polydipsia, polyuria, nycturia consistent with central diabetes insipidus and a hyperintense pituitary stalk lesion on MRI. A possible INH diagnosis was considered, after excluding other pathologies. Lesion biopsy was discarded at that time on the ground of a small target and the high risk of added morbidity. Oral desmopressin led to initial symptoms resolution but, in the following months, an anterior panhypopituitarism developed, in spite of appropriate treatment and, by that time, the brain MRI also revealed lesion growth, which prompted a biopsy recommendation. The pathology analysis revealed a germinoma. After chemotherapy and radiotherapy, there was complete disappearance of the pituitary lesion, but the panhypopituitarism persisted. In conclusion, this case highlights the importance and difficulty of precise diagnosis in the initial assessment of pituitary stalk lesions and the need for close monitoring of treatment response. Diagnostic reassessment and biopsy in atypical cases is the only path to achieve the correct diagnosis and treatment.

  • pituitary disorders
  • CNS cancer

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  • Contributors The present article refers to one clinical case followed and managed through medical consultation on a regular basis by HV and JP. DD, HV, JP and VL wrote the manuscript and approved it for publication.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.