CNS tumor
Tumors of the sellar region
Pituitary carcinoma



Topic Completed: 1 January 2006

Revised: 3 January 2018, last major update January 2006

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PubMed Search: Pituitary carcinoma [title]


Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Pituitary carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cnstumorpituitarycarcinoma.html. Accessed May 26th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • 0.2 to 0.5% of adenohypophyseal tumors
  • Considered to derive from pituitary adenoma
  • Defined as tumors that have metastasized, since cannot differentiate based on histology (like other endocrine tumors)
  • Usually secrete ACTH or prolactin
  • "Silent" pituitary tumors rarely metastasize
  • Highly aggressive, eventually causing death
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • May have nuclear pleomorphism with prominent nucleoli, mitotic activity
Positive stains
  • May have high Ki67 labeling index
  • p53
Differential diagnosis
Additional references
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