J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  2011 Oct;50(4):281-287. 10.3340/jkns.2011.50.4.281.

Radiological Apoplexy and Its Correlation with Acute Clinical Presentation, Angiogenesis and Tumor Microvascular Density in Pituitary Adenomas

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea. cuttage@cau.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Medical Device Clinical Trials Center, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
Pituitary apoplexy is life-threatening clinical syndrome caused by the rapid enlargement of a pituitary tumor due to hemorrhage and/or infarction. The pathogenesis of pituitary apoplexy is not completely understood. We analyzed the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of pituitary tumors and subsequently correlated the radiological findings with the clinical presentation. Additionally, immunohistochemistry was also performed to determine whether certain biomarkers are related to radiological apoplexy.
METHODS
Thirty-four cases of pituitary adenoma were enrolled for retrospective analysis. In this study, the radiological apoplexy was defined as cases where hemorrhage, infarction or cysts were identified on MRI. Acute clinical presentation was defined as the presence of any of the following symptoms: severe sudden onset headache, decreased visual acuity and/or visual field deficit, and acute mental status changes. Angiogenesis was quantified by immunohistochemical expression of fetal liver kinase 1 (Flk-1), neuropilin (NRP) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, while microvascular density (MVD) was assessed using Endoglin and CD31.
RESULTS
Clinically, fourteen patients presented with acute symptoms and 20 for mild or none clinical symptoms. Radiologically, fifteen patients met the criteria for radiological apoplexy. Of the fifteen patients with radiologic apoplexy, 9 patients presented acute symptoms whereas of the 19 patient without radiologic apoplexy, 5 patients presented acute symptoms. Of the five biomarkers tracked, only VEGF was found to be positively correlated with both radiological and nonradiological apoplexy.
CONCLUSION
While pituitary apoplexy is currently defined in cases where clinical symptoms can be histologically confirmed, we contend that cases of radiologically identified pituitary hemorrhages that present with mild or no symptoms should be designated subacute or subclinical apoplexy. VEGF is believed to have a positive correlation with pituitary hemorrhage. Considering the high rate of symptomatic or asymptomatic pituitary tumor hemorrhage, additional studies are needed to detect predictors of the pituitary hemorrhage.

Keyword

Pituitary adenoma; Pituitary apoplexy; Pituitary hemorrhage; Angiogenesis; Microvascular density; VEGF

MeSH Terms

Biomarkers
Headache
Hemorrhage
Humans
Immunohistochemistry
Infarction
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Neuropilins
Pituitary Apoplexy
Pituitary Neoplasms
Retrospective Studies
Stroke
Track and Field
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2
Visual Acuity
Visual Fields
Neuropilins
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2
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