What is the pathophysiology of hyperpituitarism?

Updated: Oct 24, 2016
  • Author: Alicia Diaz-Thomas, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Answer

Hypothalamic dysfunction clearly may promote tumor growth, but overwhelming evidence indicates intrinsic pituicyte genetic disruption leads to pituitary tumorigenesis. The monoclonal nature of most pituitary adenomas, confirmed by X-inactivation studies, implies their usual origin from a clonal event in a single cell. Most pituitary adenomas are functional and secrete a hormone that produces a characteristic clinical presentation. Nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas are rare in children, accounting for only 3-6% of all adenomas in 2 large series, whereas they comprise 30% of adenomas in adults. In children, disruption of growth regulation and/or sexual maturation is common, either because of hormone hypersecretion or because of manifestations caused by local compression by the tumor.


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