Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 878–882 | Cite as

The early diagnosis of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN 1): A case report

  • G. Tamagno
  • E. De Carlo
  • C. Martini
  • D. Rubello
  • F. Fallo
  • N. Sicolo
Case Report


We report the case of a patient presenting amenorrhea, hyperprolactinemia, headache and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) evidence of pituitary macroadenoma. The family history revealed that the patient’s father had had a referred sporadic insulinoma, removed 25 yr before without evidence of other endocrine disorders. Physical examination evidenced a slight neck enlargement. Among biochemical and endocrinological assays performed, only hyperprolactinemia was observed. Neck ultrasonography (US) revealed a parathyroid enlargement and a 99mTcO4/MIBI scan showed two hyperplasic lesions. Considering the diagnostic suspect of multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN1), we performed abdominal US and NMR studies, showing a pancreatic lesion compatible with neuroendocrine tumor. A total body 111In-DTPA-d-Phe1-octreotide scan (Octreoscan®) was also carried out, evidencing no pituitary tumor uptake but high uptake of the abdominal lesion. After surgery, the histological examination confirmed the two parathyroid adenomas and four non-functioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. When the patient was admitted for studying the pituitary lesion and for planning the opportune therapy, an early and partially subclinical stage of MEN1 was identified, potentially already clear but otherwise undiagnosed, and the genetic state of the patient’s relatives, as possible carriers of DNA mutation, was checked. The DNA study for germline mutations confirmed the clinical diagnosis of MEN1 syndrome in the patient and evidenced the same MEN1 mutation in her father and twin sister. In this case report, we would like to underline that, still today, a correct anamnesis and physical examination are the cornerstone of clinical approach to the patient. Furthermore, initial good practice approach is necessary to plan the diagnostic iter, enabling clinicians to decide upon the best orientation and interpretation of the results among several complicated and expensive exams.


Multiple endocrine neoplasia MEN1 pituitary adenoma hyperprolactinemia octreoscan nuclear magnetic resonance 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Tamagno
    • 1
  • E. De Carlo
    • 1
  • C. Martini
    • 1
  • D. Rubello
    • 2
  • F. Fallo
    • 1
  • N. Sicolo
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Clinic III, Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Nuclear Medicine ServiceS. Maria della Misericordia HospitalRovigoItaly

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