Sellar plasmacytomas masquerading as pituitary adenomas: A systematic review

Joseph DiDomenico, Leonel Ampie, Winward Choy, Jonathan B. Lamano, Daniel E. Oyon, Kartik Kesavabhotla, Orin Bloch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given the rarity of intracranial plasmacytomas, these lesions are frequently misdiagnosed as pituitary adenomas. We report on the distinguishing characteristics of sellar plasmacytomas from cases in the literature and our experience. A literature search was conducted to collect all documented cases of a plasmacytoma originating in the sellar region. Patient characteristics, medical history, presentation, tumor characteristics, and survival data were collected. An additional case from our institution not previously reported was included. Thirty-one patients with sellar plasmacytomas were studied. Presenting symptoms were most commonly headache (68%), diplopia (65%) and visual field disturbances (10%). Fifteen patients (48%) were initially suspected of having a pituitary adenoma. Pathologic diagnosis of plasmacytoma preceded a finding of multiple myeloma in 14 cases (45%). Thirty patients (90%) had surgical intervention. Adjuvant therapy consisted of radiotherapy for twenty-five patients (81%) and chemotherapy for sixteen (52%). Tumor recurrence was reported for 7 cases (23%). Nine deaths were reported (23%). We demonstrate that cranial nerve involvement is far more common in sellar plasmacytomas than conventional pituitary adenomas. Given the successful management of these tumors with radiotherapy, such deficits, particularly in patients with known multiple myeloma, should impact the diagnostic workup and treatment considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-23
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Intracranial
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Pituitary
  • Plasmacytoma
  • Sellar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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