Evidence of morphological and functional abnormalities in the hypothalamus of growth-hormone-deficient children: A combined magnetic resonance imaging and endocrine study

Nadia Bressani, Berardo Di Natale, Cristina Pellini, Fabio Triulzi, Giuseppe Scotti, Giuseppe Chiumello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Fifty-seven children with growth hormone deficiency and 15 healthy age-matched controls were studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Of the patients, 36 (63%) had isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) and 21 (37%) multiple pituitary hormone deficiency (MPHD). MRI studies showed a marked reduction in pituitary volume in all patients in comparison with normal controls. Moreover, a striking morphological abnormality with the apparent absence of the pituitary stalk and an ectopic posterior pituitary lobe was detected in 34 of the patients (59%). This pituitary stalk abnormality was detected in 95% of the MPHD patients and in 39% of the IGHD patients. All but one of the patients with a normal pituitary stalk had IGHD. Endocrine evaluation showed no correlation with MRI data: in particular patients with an apparent anatomical interruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis showed a variety of patterns of hormonal responses. In conclusion, our study shows a high frequency of hypothalamic-pituitary anomalies in patients with GH deficiency, particularly related with MPHD. However, further studies are needed to improve our understanding of the relationship between MRI and endocrine data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Volume34
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1990

Keywords

  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Isolated growth hormone deficiency
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiple pituitary hormone deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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