Other Pituitary Diseases

Although pituitary tumors are the most common cause of pituitary gland disorders, other conditions can also result in pituitary gland problems.

Tumors in the pituitary region other than pituitary adenomas

  • Craniopharingiomas, cysts and meningiomas are examples of tumors that originate in the proximity of the pituitary gland and may cause hypopituitarism, headaches, visual and neurological problems. These tumors may be large and difficult to remove completely. Postoperative radiation therapy is often necessary for craniopharingiomas and meningiomas.

Non-tumoral pituitary diseases

  • Empty sella syndrome occurs when cerebrospinal fluid is found in the sellar space that is normally occupied by the pituitary gland. This condition can occur spontaneously or after treatment of a pituitary tumor with surgery, medications or radiation. Empty sella is sometimes associated with hypopituitarism and requires hormonal replacement.
  • Non-tumor pituitary diseases like sarcoidosis, histiocytosis and hemochromatosis can infiltrate the pituitary gland and cause pituitary hormone imbalances.
  • Rarely, infections or autoimmune conditions affect the pituitary gland causing hypophysitis, also characterized by hormonal abnormalities.