MR findings in growth hormone deficiency: Correlation with severity of hypopituitarism

Liora Kornreich*, Gadi Horev, Liora Lazar, Michael Schwarz, Jacquelin Sulkes, Athalia Pertzelan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Growth hormone deficiency may present as an isolated deficit (IGHD) or in association with multiple deficiencies (MPHD). Previous studies have not compared the MR imaging findings with the severity of hypopituitarism. Our purpose was to determine whether MR imaging can distinguish between IGHD and MPHD. METHODS: Forty-four patients with growth hormone deficiency who were examined by MR imaging were included in this retrospective study. On the basis of the endocrinologic findings, 21 were determined to have IGHD and 23 to have MPHD. The presence, size, location, and morphologic characteristics of the stalk, the neurohypophysis, and the adenohypophysis were recorded in each case. Findings in the two groups were compared. Statistical significance was determined by t-test. RESULTS: The stalk was normal in one patient with IGHD and in none of those with MPHD; it was truncated or thin in 19 patients with IGHD (90%) and in only one with MPHD (4%); it was absent in 22 patients with MPHD (96%) and in only one patient with IGHD (5%). These differences between the two groups were highly significant. In 81% of the IGHD patients and in 91% of the MPHD patients the location of the neurohypophysis was ectopic. This difference between the two groups was not significant. Among IGHD patients, the adenohypophysis was of normal size in 13 patients (62%), small in six (29%), and absent in two (9%); the corresponding findings in MPHD patients were seven (30%), six (26%), and 10 (44%). CONCLUSION: The majority of IGHD patients had a truncated or thin stalk and a normal or small adenohypophysis. An absent stalk and adenohypophysis are characteristic of MPHD. MR imaging can contribute to the prediction of the pattern and severity of hypopituitarism in patients with growth hormone deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1495-1499
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 1998


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