Calcification of the auricles that presents clinically with stiffened ears and moves as a single unit is rare1. It has been reported in patients with frostbite or trauma2, but has also been described in important endocrinopathies such as Addison's disease or hypopituitarism2,3,4. It could be the only important clue to the underlying endocrinopathy, which if missed, may have a fatal outcome.5 As a rare sign, it is often missed. In literature, it is generally discovered only when the patient presents acutely unwell with symptoms suggestive of adrenal insufficiency.
We report a unique case of hypopituitarism that was undiagnosed for over 30 years despite significant morbidity, in which investigations that resulted in the diagnosis were ordered following discovery of auricular calcification. This occurred in a 61 year old man who had to resign from work due to severe fatigue, presyncope and confusion. His hypopituitarism was only discovered recently after complaining about his stiffened outer ear. Clinically, he responded well to hormonal therapy for his central hypothyroidism, hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, and secondary adrenal insufficiency.
We will discuss the case history and a provide a brief literature review.