Rare Thyroid Transcription Factor 1-Positive Tumors of the Sellar Region: Barrow Neurological Institute Retrospective Case Series

Document Type



OBJECTIVE: Granular cell tumors (GCTs), pituicytomas, and spindle cell oncocytomas are rare, nonfunctioning pituitary tumors sharing positive staining of thyroid transcription factor 1. We present our series, the first single-institutional report with long-term surgical follow-up of all 3 tumor types. METHODS: Our institutional pathology database was queried for these 3 pathologic diagnoses. Clinical records were assessed for clinical presentation, preoperative and postoperative endocrine status, tumor location on imaging, surgical characteristics, pathology results, and tumor recurrence. RESULTS: Data were analyzed for 4 patients with GCTs, 4 with pituicytomas, and 3 with spindle cell oncocytomas. The most common symptoms at presentation were vision changes (64%), headache (55%), endocrine abnormalities (55%), and fatigue (46%). GCTs were the only subtype to present exclusively in the infundibulum and the only subtype in our series to be treated with a transcranial transsylvian approach to resection (n = 2). In our study, in contrast to other reports, estimated blood loss was less than 300 mL in all patients. Imaging confirmed gross total resection in all 11 cases with no known recurrences at a mean (standard deviation) follow-up of 4.7 (3.7) years. CONCLUSIONS: We present a single-institution series of rare thyroid transcription factor 1-staining posterior pituitary tumors of the sellar region. Key novel findings include gross total resection with no tumor recurrence at nearly 5 years of mean follow-up and no cases of excess or uncontrolled blood loss. Our findings reinforce the observation that GCTs present in the suprasellar space.

Medical Subject Headings

Adenoma, Oxyphilic (metabolism, pathology); Adult; Aged; Biomarkers, Tumor (metabolism); Female; Granular Cell Tumor (metabolism, pathology); Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Pituitary Gland (metabolism, pathology); Pituitary Neoplasms (metabolism, pathology); Retrospective Studies; Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1 (metabolism)

Publication Date


Publication Title

World neurosurgery





First Page


Last Page


PubMed ID


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)