The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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July - September 2006, Volume 2, Issue 3
Case Report

Gheorghiu ML, Lisievici M, Morosan M, Ciurea AV, Coculescu M

Anorexia associated with a pineal gangliocytoma

Acta Endo (Buc) 2006, 2 (3): 355-363
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2006.355

Gangliocytomas are extremely rare tumors, accounting for 0.1-0.5% of all brain tumors. We present a 25 years old woman with several characteristics of restrictive anorexia nervosa in association with a gangliocytoma of pineal region. The patient has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus shortly after birth. A ventriculoperitoneal shunt was initially inserted. At the age of 19 she underwent 2 consecutive occipital craniotomies for a well-defined large mass in the pineal region. Histopathological examination of this tumor revealed a gangliocytoma. Our patient began to reduce her food intake due to the concept that ”the tumor must not be fed”. After an almost 30 kg weight loss over 5 years, the patient weighs 39 kg at 165 cm height (BMI 14.3 kg/sqm), associated with a 1 year history of secondary amenorrhea and a tumor remnant of 4 cm. The weight loss, amenorrhea and some other psychosocial traits are common for anorexia nervosa. We discuss the difficulty of the differential diagnosis between anorexia nervosa and a hypothalamic eating disorder induced by the pineal gangliocytoma.

Keywords: pineal gangliocytoma, anorexia nervosa

Correspondence: Mihail Coculescu, Endocrinology Department, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 8 Bd. Eroilor Sanitari, Bucharest, Romania, Tel: + 4021 319.87.18, e-mail: