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Describe the pathophysiology

A 20-year-old man was admitted to the hospital with severe headache, vision problems, and neck rigidity. His hands and feet were getting bigger over the last 3 years. Blood tests for meningitis were negative. However, he had low thyroxine, cortisol, and human chorionic gonadotropins (HCGs). The tests also revealed increased levels of the growth hormone. MRI revealed that he had pituitary adenoma with infarction. Surgeons removed his pituitary gland.

How did the patient develop adenoma?

Describe the pathophysiology behind his symptoms.

Does the patient have acromegaly? Give reasons to support your answer.

What other complications could the patient develop?

Does the patient require hormone level monitoring? Give reasons to support your answer.

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Solution Preview

Pituitary adenomas are usually benign slow growing tumors that grow from cells in the pituitary gland. The Pituitary gland is the "master" gland , it regulates the body's hormones. It is believed they are from a single cell mutation.

This patient had an infarcted adenoma or Pituitary Apolexy which means it has expanded or bled into the cavernous sinuses. This expansion is compressing the cranial nerves and the optic nerve which explains the headache and vision problems. An abrupt infarct can increase the intracranial pressure with possible hypothalmic involvement. The patient would have meningeal irritation with neck stiffness. The compressed gland could lead to hypopituitarism which can lead to malfunctioning of many hormones in the body. ...

Solution Summary

Using this case study, this solution fully describes the pathophysiology behind the patient's symptoms.