Comparison of anterior pituitary hormone levels in the inferior petrosal sinuses and peripheral blood in various pituitary disorders during perihypophysial phlebography

G. Lombardi, B. Merola, A. Colao, P. Miletto, G. De Chiara, R. Spaziante, G. La Tessa, G. Di Renzo, L. Annunziato

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The present study aimed at evaluating the anterior pituitary hormone levels in the inferior petrosal sinuses and in the peripheral blood of 55 patients affected by various pituitary disorders and undergoing perihypophysial phlebography on neurosurgical indication or for diagnostic purposes. The results indicated that in 6 patients with Cushing's disease and in 4 with hyperprolactinemia the secreting adenoma could be localized by inferior petrosal sinus sampling. Furthermore, the concentrations of all the pituitary hormones were found to be higher in the right and/or in the left inferior petrosal sinus than in peripheral blood, showing a clear gradient between central and peripheral samples. Moreover, the evaluation of hormone central/peripheral concentration ratios revealed noteworthy differences, namely, that central/peripheral concentration ratios of GH, ACTH, and PRL were significantly higher than those of TSH, FSH, and LH (p <0.01). On the contrary, no significant differences were found when the concentration ratios of GH, ACTH and PRL or TSH, FSH and LH were compared among themselves. This finding may be attributed to at least two factors: the increased pulsatility and the relatively short biological halftime of polypeptic hormones (GH, ACTH, and PRL) compared with glycoprotein hormones (TSH, FSH, and LH).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-266
Number of pages9
JournalActa Endocrinologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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