Hypopituitary: Hypopituitarism Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Posted: March 26, 2018 at 2:43 pm

What is Hypopituitaryism?

What Causes Hypopituitary?

A loss of function of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus results in low or absent hormones. Tumors can cause damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus and can therefore result in a loss of function. Damage to the pituitary gland can also be caused by radiation, surgery, infections (eg, meningitis), or various other conditions. In some cases, the cause is unknown.

What Are the Symptoms of Hypopituitary?

Some persons may have no symptoms or a gradual onset of symptoms. In other persons, the symptoms may be sudden and dramatic. The symptoms depend on the cause, rapidity of onset, and the hormone that is involved.

When to See a Doctor for Hypopituitary

Call the doctor or health care practitioner if any symptoms develop.

What Exams and Tests Diagnose Hypopituitary?

The doctor or health care practitioner may perform blood tests to determine which hormone level is low and to rule out other causes. The following tests may be performed:

An MRI or CT scan of the pituitary gland may be obtained to determine if a tumor is present.

In children, X-rays of the hands may be taken to determine if bones are growing normally.

What Is the Treatment for Hypopituitary?

Medical treatment consists of hormone replacement therapy and treatment of the underlying cause.

What Are the Medications Used to Treat Hypopituitary?

Drugs used to treat hypopituitarism replace the deficient hormone.

Is Surgery a Treatment Option for Hypopituitary?

Surgery may be performed depending on the type, size, and location of the tumor.

What Is the Follow-up for Hypopituitary?

Checkups with the doctor or health care practitioner are important. The doctor may need to adjust the dose of hormone replacement therapy.

What Is the Outlook for Hypopituitary?

If hormone replacement therapy is adequate, the prognosis is good. Complications are often related to the underlying disease.

Reviewed on 1/3/2018

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Clinical manifestations of hypopituitarism"


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Hypopituitary: Hypopituitarism Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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