Pituitary stalk gangliogliomas: Case report and literature review

Oluwaseun A. Omofoye, Mirna Lechpammer, Toby O. Steele, Griffith R. Harsh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Gangliogliomas rarely occur in the sella or suprasellar region and are almost never seen in the pituitary stalk. Seven cases of gangliogliomas occurring in this region have been reported; only one case involved a tumor within the pituitary stalk. Of the six tumors external to the pituitary stalk, two occurred in the neurohypophysis, one was in the adenohypophysis, the location of one was unspecified, and two extensively invaded the optic chiasm, hypothalamus and brainstem. This is only the second reported case of a pituitary stalk ganglioglioma, and it is unique in its use of an extended endoscopic endonasal approach for biopsy. Case report: A 51-year old woman presented with an eleven-month history of polydipsia and polyuria leading to the diagnosis of diabetes insipidus. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the brain revealed contrast-enhanced thickening and anterior bowing of the hypophyseal stalk. An extended endoscopic endonasal approach permitted midline removal of the tuberculum sella, opening of underlying dura, and exposure of the pituitary stalk. A firm, white, 4 mm diameter mass, integral to the right side of the enlarged pituitary stalk was seen and biopsied. Histopathological analysis was consistent with WHO grade 1 ganglioglioma. The patient tolerated the procedure well and required no endocrinologic treatment other than desmopressin. Conclusion: Pituitary stalk gangliogliomas are extremely rare. The diagnosis should be considered in patients with pituitary stalk enlargement. Endoscopic endonasal approach is a safe surgical approach to establish a tissue diagnosis which is essential for pathologic certainty given the wide differential diagnosis of stalk lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106405
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Case report
  • Ganglioglioma
  • Literature review
  • Pituitary stalk
  • Suprasellar tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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