Silent pituitary corticotroph carcinoma in a young dog

Gestier S, Cook RW, Agnew W, et al.

 Journal of comparative pathology 2012;146:327-331.

An 11-month-old neutered female weimaraner was humanely destroyed 6 days after an acute onset of neurological signs. At necropsy examination the pituitary gland was replaced by a large neoplastic mass that compressed and infiltrated the overlying hypothalamus. Small nodules were detected in the spleen, kidneys and stomach. Adrenal, thyroid and parathyroid glands were normal in size. The primary pituitary mass, visceral nodules and microscopical metastases detected within the ventricles and leptomeninges of the brain comprised polygonal, chromophobic neoplastic cells, which labelled strongly for adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) on immunohistochemical examination. These findings, in the absence of clinical or pathological evidence of pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism, support a diagnosis of endocrinologically-inactive (‘silent’) pituitary corticotroph (ACTH-containing) carcinoma.