September 1980

Lymphoid Hypophysitis With Selective Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Deficiency

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Richtsmeier and Ehrlich) and Pathology (Dr Henry), Madison General Hospital, and the Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr Bloodworth), Madison, Wis.

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(9):1243-1245. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330200119034

• This report describes a 31-year-old woman with evidences of selective adrenocorticotropic hormone deficiency associated with a remarkable pituitary lesion, lymphoid hypophysitis. Clinical manifestations of secondary hypocortisolism, which first appeared during the immediate postpartum period following normal pregnancy, included progressive weakness and mental aberrations, fasting hypoglycemia, transient hypercalcemia, and striking ECG changes. Sudden death resulted from cardiorespiratory collapse. Microscopic examination of the anterior pituitary disclosed focal fibrosis and extensive lymphocytic infiltrations with a marked reduction of basophils; immunostaining techniques demonstrated a selective loss of corticotropin-secreting cells. The histopathology of the pituitary and its association in this case with lymphoid thyroiditis suggest that selective damage to corticotrophs was due to an autoimmune process.

(Arch Intern Med 140:1243-1245, 1980)