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Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Pituitary Apoplexy: A Single-Center Case Series and Review of the Literature.

World Neurosurgery 2021 August
BACKGROUND: Pituitary apoplexy (PA) is a rare, but life-threatening, condition characterized by pituitary infarction and hemorrhage, most often in the setting of a preexisting adenoma. The risk factors and mechanisms associated with PA are poorly understood. Although neurovascular manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection have been documented, its association with PA has not yet been determined.

METHODS: From a prospectively collected database of patients treated at a tertiary care center for pituitary adenoma, we conducted a retrospective medical record review of PA cases during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 to December 2020. We also conducted a literature review to identify other reported cases.

RESULTS: We identified 3 consecutive cases of PA and concomitant COVID-19 infection. The most common symptoms at presentation were headache and vision changes. The included patients were successfully treated with surgical decompression and medical management of the associated endocrinopathy, ultimately experiencing improvement in their visual symptoms at the latest follow-up examination. COVID-19 infection in the perioperative period was corroborated by polymerase chain reaction test results in all the patients.

CONCLUSIONS: With the addition of our series to the literature, 10 cases of PA in the setting of COVID-19 infection have been confirmed. The present series was limited in its ability to draw conclusions about the relationship between these 2 entities. However, COVID-19 infection might represent a risk factor for the development of PA. Further studies are required.

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