Spindle cell oncocytoma of the pituitary and pituicytoma: Two tumors mimicking pituitary adenoma

Division of Neurosurgery, Northwestern University, Feinberg, School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, US.
Surgical Neurology International (Impact Factor: 1.18). 08/2011; 2(1):116. DOI: 10.4103/2152-7806.83932
Source: PubMed


Spindle cell oncocytoma (SCO) and pituicytoma are rare nonfunctioning tumors of the pituitary. Both tumors are low grade and macroscopically indistinguishable from a nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma.We report one case of SCO and one case of pituicytoma and review the previous literature.
One patient was a 39-year-old man who presented with progressive headache, visual blurring, and polyuria of 3-year duration. He underwent partial resection (30% of the tumor) and postoperative adjuvant radiation therapy. Histopathology revealed SCO. However, after 9 months, the residual tumor grew and partial resection (70% of the tumor) was performed again. Four months after the second surgery, the tumor recurred again and he underwent transsphenoidal resection of the tumor with stable residual tumor to date. The other patient was a 59-year-old man who presented with a 3-month history of visual decline, fatigue, difficulty in writing, and polyuria. He underwent transsphenoidal resection (total) of the tumor. Histopathology revealed pituicytoma. He has been stable without evidence of recurrence for 1 year and 4 months.
To date, there are 15 reported cases of SCO and 45 reported cases of pituicytoma including our cases. An incomplete resection of the tumor was a significant risk factor for recurrence in both SCO and pituicytoma (P = 0.0014 and P = 0.019, respectively). These tumors have a tendency to be hypervascular, which may hamper total resection. Epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) and mitochondria positivity is characteristic to SCO and they are considered to be important immunomarkers to distinguish these tumors.

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