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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
January 2013

Pathology Quiz Case 3: Diagnosis

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013;139(1):92. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.1190b

Diagnosis: Ectopic prolactin-secreting pituitary adenoma

The exact prevalence of pituitary tumors is difficult to estimate as most of these tumors are asymptomatic; however, a meta-analysis performed by Ezzat et al1 found the prevalence to be approximately 17%. Most pituitary tumors are diagnosed in adults who are in their late 30s to early 50s.2 Classically, pituitary tumors have been classified based on their histologic staining pattern (chromophobic, basophilic, and acidophilic) and their size, with 1 cm serving as a cutoff between microadenomas and macroadenomas. Currently, they are also classified based on their hormonal activity. Most pituitary tumors are nonfunctional. However, of those that are functional, prolactin-secreting adenomas are the most common.2

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