Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Morphologic studies of pituitary neoplasms removed by surgery from 36 human patients revealed 8 chromophobe adenomas which differed clearly from the remaining tumors. The cytoplasm of the adenoma cells failed to stain with PAS, aniline blue, aldehyde fuchsin, aldehyde thionin, orange G or light green, but positively stained granules were found by using erythrosine or carmoisine. Immunoperoxidase technique disclosed the presence of prolactin in the cytoplasm of some adenoma cells. The adenoma cells exhibited distinct ultrastructural features such as well developed rough surfaced endoplasmic reticulum with Nebenkern formation, prominence of Golgi apparatus, presence of misplaced exocytosis as well as pleomorphism of secretory granules with a considerable variation of size ranging from 130 to 500 nm in diameter. Thus, by electron microscopy the adenoma cells showed a close resemblance to prolactin cells of the non-tumorous pituitary glands except for the reduced size and number of secretory granules. These chromophobe adenomas are regarded as representing a distinct pathological entity clearly distinguishable from other forms of pituitary neoplasms. In view of the morphologic findings and the elevation of blood prolactin level (measured in 3 patients) the term, “sparsely granulated prolactin producing pituitary adenoma”, appears to be the most appropriate one to designate these tumors.
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