Pituitary Dysfunction after Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: A Prospective Cohort Study

Chiara Robba, Raffaele Aspide, Marianna Pegoli, Ekaterina Kondratyeva, Paolo Gritti, Marco F. Fustini, Denise Battaglini, Paolo Pelosi, Peter J. Hutchinson, Adel Helmy, Carlo Bortolotti, Corrado Zenesini, Federico Bilotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of pituitary dysfunction after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) remains incompletely elucidated. Furthermore, it is not clear whether these abnormalities impact patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of pituitary dysfunction after aSAH and its effect on outcomes. Methods: We carried out a prospective, cohort study including adult patients (18 y of age or older) with a diagnosis of aSAH who were admitted to the intensive care unit in 3 centers between January 2017 and January 2019. Exclusion criteria were previous hypopituitarism, hormonal replacement therapies for pituitary dysfunction or any corticosteroid treatment. Endocrine function was tested within the first 48 hours after aSAH onset (acute phase), after 1 to 3 weeks (subacute phase), and after 6 to 12 months (chronic phase). Clinical outcomes were assessed at 6 to 12 months using the modified Rankin Scale. Results: Fifty-six patients were included in the study; all were studied in the acute phase, 34 were studied in the subacute phase, and 49 in the chronic phase. Pituitary dysfunction was identified in 92.3% (95% confidence interval; [CI]: 86.6%-98.0%) of cases in the acute phase, in 83.3% (95% CI: 70.8%-95.8%) in the subacute phase, and in 83.3% (95% CI: 72.7%-93.9%) of cases in the chronic phase. The most commonly identified abnormality was dysfunction of the pituitary-gonadal axis. There was no correlation between pituitary dysfunction and clinical outcome. Conclusion: Pituitary dysfunction is common after aSAH, but does not affect 6 to 12-month clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • endocrine
  • neurological outcome
  • pituitary dysfunction
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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