Which clinical history findings are characteristic of hypopituitarism (panhypopituitarism)?

Updated: Jun 09, 2020
  • Author: Bernard Corenblum, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Presentation varies from asymptomatic to acute collapse, depending on the etiology, rapidity of onset, and predominant hormones involved. Initially, a patient with any hormone deficiency may be asymptomatic. Individuals with the following deficiencies present with the indicated condition:

  • TSH deficiency - Hypothyroidism

  • Gonadotropin deficiency - Hypogonadism

  • GH deficiency - Failure to thrive and short stature in children; most adults are asymptomatic, but some may experience fatigue and weakness and decreased quality of life

  • ADH deficiency - Polyuria and polydipsia

Other presenting features may be attributable to the underlying cause. A patient with a space-occupying lesion may present with headaches, double-vision, or visual-field deficits. A patient with large lesions involving the hypothalamus may present with polydipsia/polyuria or, rarely, syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH).


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