The pituitary gland is found at the base of the brain. It produces several important hormones that control the production of other hormones made by glands in the body. In panhypopituitarism, the gland produces an insufficient amount of hormones.
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This condition is most often caused by damage to the gland. In adults, it is usually a result of pituitary surgery. In children, damage to the pituitary gland may be caused by:
In some cases, the cause may be unknown.
Factors that may increase your chance of panhypopituitarism include:
Compression of the tumor on local structures, especially the nerves of the eyes, can cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment depends on the cause of the condition. The goal of treatment is to restore normal blood hormone levels of thyroid, adrenal, estrogen or testosterone, and sometimes growth hormone.
Treatment options include:
Hormone Health Network—Endocrine Society
The Pituitary Network Association
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Bhasin S, Cunningham GR, Hayes FJ, et al. Testosterone therapy in adult men with androgen deficiency syndromes: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91(6):1995-2010.
Hypopituitarism in children. Stanford Children's Health website. Available at: http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=hypopituitarism-in-children-90-P01962. Accessed February 6, 2015.
Randeva HS, Schoebel J, Byrne J, et al. Classical pituitary apoplexy: clinical features, management and outcome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1999;51(2):181-188.
Schneider HJ, Aimaretti G, Kreitschmann-Andermahr I, Stalla GK, Ghigo E. Hypopituitarism. Lancet. 2007;269(9571):1461-1470.
Toogood AA, Stewart PM. Hypopituitarism: clinical features, diagnosis, and management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1998;37(1):235-261
What is a growth disorder? Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/endocrine/growth_disorder.html. Updated July 2014. Accessed February 6, 2015.
Last reviewed February 2016 by Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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