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July 1983

Coexistent Primary Empty Sella Syndrome and Hyperprolactinemia: Report of 11 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine (Drs Gharib, Frey, and Randall), Department of Neurologic Surgery (Dr Laws), and Department of Surgical Pathology (Dr Scheithauer), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. Dr Frey was a visiting physician from the Department of Internal Medicine, Aker Hospital, Oslo University Medical School, Oslo.

Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(7):1383-1386. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350070103017

• The series involved 11 women with concurrent hyperprolactinemia and primary empty sella syndrome. Eight had amenorrhea and six had galactorrhea. All 11 patients had intact hypothalamic-pituitary function, except for having elevated prolactin levels that ranged from 33 to 498 ng/mL. One patient had primary hypothyroidism. Radiologic investigations included sellar polytomography in eight cases, computed tomography of the head in eight cases, bilateral carotid angiography in six cases, and pneumoencephalography in three cases. Of eight patients undergoing transsphenoidal exploratory surgery, one had a pituitary microadenoma and an empty sella while seven had only an empty sella with a flattened pituitary gland. Conventional histologic methods (seven cases) and immunocytologic studies (three cases) of the pituitary gland showed no abnormalities. The cause of this syndrome is unknown. It should be recognized that hyperprolactinemia, with or without galactorrhea-amenorrhea, may occur in association with an empty sella in the absence of an associated pituitary tumor.

(Arch Intern Med 1983;143:1383-1386)