Neuroimaging has become an essential part of the diagnostic process in children with GH deficiency (GHD). The aim of the study was to document the frequency of neuroanatomical abnormalities in a very large cohort of children with GHD and to relate these findings to patient clinical characteristics. Results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were reported in 15,043 of 43,725 children with non-acquired GHD (idiopathic, neurosecretory dysfunction (NSD) and known congenital cause) who were enrolled in KIGS (Pfizer International Growth Database) between 1987 and 2011. Clinical characteristics of patients before GH treatment with normal MRI (idiopathic GHD (IGHD) and NSD) were compared with those of patients with abnormal pituitaries (hypoplasia, empty sella (ES), HME (hypoplastic anterior pituitary, missing pituitary stalk and ectopic posterior pituitary)). Abnormal MRIs were found in 4032 (26.8%) children, within which ES (N=1178 (7.8%)) and HME (N=1019 (6.8%)) were the most frequent findings. In 2361 children diagnosed as IGHD or NSD before MRI examination, anatomical abnormalities ((pituitary hypoplasia: n=974); (HME: n=459)) were documented. Patients with anatomical abnormalities had more severe characteristics of GHD: normal MRI <pituitary hypoplasia <ES <HME. GHD is associated with a great variety of neuroanatomical abnormalities as identified by MRI. The investigation and evaluation of MRI need to be conducted in a structured mode. There is an association between anatomical and functional abnormalities of the pituitary.
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