Friday, April 8, 2011

Sphenoid sinus pyocele after transsphenoidal approach for pituitary adenoma

Mario Giordano, Venelin M. Gerganov, Wolfgang Draf and Rudolf Fahlbusch

Abstract

Transsphenoidal pituitary adenoma surgery is related to a low morbidity rate. The complications that can occur are classified as intra- and extracranial. The aim of the study is to discuss one group of these complications involving the sphenoid sinus: mucocele and its possible transformation into pyocele.

We evaluate clinical presentation, management strategy and the outcome after long-term follow-up presenting an explicative case and a review of the literature. A patient presented to our outpatient clinic 8 months after transsphenoidal surgery for selective removal of a pituitary adenoma because of an acute onset of frontal headache during an airplane travel, fever and pulsating sensation in left eye and ear. MRI revealed a contrast-enhancing lesion in the left inferior portion of the sphenoid sinus.

An endonasal endoscopic revision of the sphenoid sinus was performed. After opening of the scar to enter in the left sinus a pyocele was found and treated with drainage and marsupialisation. Development of sphenoid sinus pyocele is an extremely rare postoperative complication of transsphenoidal surgery. This lesion should be taken in consideration in patients presenting with retroorbital headache of acute onset and fever after pituitary surgery. Diagnosis can be suspected on the MRI studies and confirmed by a targeted flexible endoscope examination. Endoscopic drainage with wide opening of the sphenoid sinus and marsupialisation is the treatment of choice to avoid recurrences.

Keywords Pyocele – Transsphenoidal approach – Pituitary adenoma

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