Rare Pituitary Tumor No Match For UAB Sleuths

| August 26, 2019 @ 5:00 am

By Bob Shepard

It took four months of detective work, but physicians at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found the rare cause of a woman’s medical issues. UAB’s joint pituitary disorders clinic, featuring the unusual combination of endocrinology and neurosurgery, identified and removed a pituitary tumor from Debra Nelson that had gone undiagnosed for more than six years.

“While pituitary tumors are fairly common, the kind Debra had is the exception, accounting for only about 1 percent of all pituitary tumors,” said Kristen Riley, M.D., a neurosurgeon in the UAB Department of Neurosurgery in the School of Medicine. “She had a TSH-secreting tumor or thyroid-stimulating hormone-secreting tumor.”

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