, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 287-288
Date: 06 May 2010

Selective pituitary tumor apoplexy apparently reversed acromegaly in Governor Pio Pico between 1858 and 1873

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Pio Pico, the last Mexican Governor of California, was profoundly acromegalic in 1858 (age 57). At that time he also demonstrated absent facial hair, loss of lateral eyebrows and dysconjugate gaze suggesting secondary gonadotropin and thyrotropin deficiency and pituitary tumor invasion into the cavernous sinus [1, 2]. The existing historical record left a photographic gap between 1858 and the 1890s when Pico then appeared essentially normal. He showed conjugate eye position, full eyebrows, a robust beard, delicate fingers and hands and little facial evidence of acromegaly, all suggesting that spontaneous selective pituitary tumor apoplexy occurred sometime between age 57 and about 90.

Now, a recently obtained photograph of Pio Pico (Fig. 1) adds poignant detail to the timeline for his presumed selective pituitary tumor apoplexy. The new image was poorly maintained but conservative photographic restoration demonstrates that his pituitary tumor had already regressed by 1873 (age 72). His ...