Growth hormone response to growth hormone-releasing hormone varies with the hypothalamic-pituitary abnormalities
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENDOCRINOLOGY
Authors: Maghnie, M; Moretta, A; Valtorta, A; Larizza, D; Sayegh, M; Greco, AM; Castoldi, E; Severi, F
Mie determined growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels after a 3 h infusion of escalating doses of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH(1-29)) followed by a bolus injection in hypopituitary patients with marked differences in pituitary features at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in order to evaluate further the contribution of MRI in the definition of pituitary GH reserve in GH-deficient patients. Twenty-nine patients (mean age 14.5 +/- 4.0 years) were studied, Group I comprised 13 patients: seven with isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) (group Ia) and six with multiple pituitary hormone deficiency (MPHD) (group Ib) who had anterior pituitary hypoplasia, unidentified pituitary stalk and ectopic posterior pituitary at MRI. Group II consisted of eight patients with IGHD and small anterior pituitary/empty sella, while in group III eight had IGHD and normal morphology of the pituitary gland. Growth hormone and IGF-I levels were measured during saline infusion at 08.30-09.00 h, as well as after infusion of GHRH (1-29) at escalating doses for 3 h: 0.2 mu g/kg at. 09.00-10.00 h, 0.4 mu g/kg at 10.00-11.00 h, 0.6 mu g/kg at 11.00-12.00 h and an intravenous bolus of 2 mu g/kg at 12.00h. In the group I patients, the peak GH response to GHRH(1-29) was delayed (135-180 min) and extremely low (median 2mU/l). In group II it was delayed (135-180 min), high (median 34.8 mU/l) and persistent (median 37.4 mU/l at 18 5-210 min). In group III the peak response was high (median 30.8 mU/l) and relatively early (75-120 min) but it declined rapidly (median 14.4 mU/l at 185-210 min). In one group I patient, GH response increased to 34.6 mU/l. The mean basal value of IGF-I levels was significantly lower in group I (0.23 +/- 0.05 U/ml) than in groups II (0.39 +/- 0.13U/ml, p < 0.01) and III (1.54 +/- 0.46 U/ml, p < 0.001) and did not vary significantly during the GHRH(1-29) infusion. The present study demonstrates that the impaired GH response to 3h of continuous infusion of escalating doses of GHRH(1-29) was strikingly indicative for pituitary stalk abnormality, strengthening the case for use of GHRH in the differential diagnosis of GH deficiency, The low GH response, more severe in MPHD patients, might be dependent on the residual somatotrope cells, while the better response (34.6 mU/l) in the group Ia patients might suggest that prolonged GHRH infusion could help in evaluating the amount of residual GH pituitary tissue. Pituitary GH reserve, given the GH response to GHRH infusion in GH-deficient patients with small anterior pituitary/empty sella, seems to be maintained.
Associations with multiple pituitary hormone deficiency in patients with an ectopic posterior pituitary gland
Authors: Murray, P. G.; Hague, C.; Fafoula, O.; Patel, L.; Raabe, A. L.; Cusick, C.; Hall, C. M.; Wright, N. B.; Amin, R.; Clayton, P. E.
Introduction The presence of an ectopic posterior pituitary gland (EPP) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is associated with hypopituitarism with one or more hormone deficiencies. We aimed to identify risk factors for having multiple pituitary hormone deficiency (MPHD) compared to isolated growth hormone deficiency (IGHD) in patients with an EPP. Methods In 67 patients (45 male) with an EPP on MRI, the site (hypothalamic vs. stalk) and surface area (SA) [ x (maximum diameter/2) x (maximum height/2), mm(2)] of the EPP were recorded and compared in patients with IGHD and MPHD in relation to clinical characteristics. Results In MPHD (n = 32) compared to IGHD (n = 35) patients: age of presentation was younger (1.4 [0.1-10.7] vs. 4.0 [0.1-11.3] years, P = 0.005), major incidents during pregnancy were increased (47% vs. 20%, P = 0.02) as were admissions to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (60% vs. 26%, P = 0.04), whilst EPP SA was lower (12.3 [2.4-34.6] vs. 25.7 [6.9-48.2] mm(2), P < 0.001). In patients with a hypothalamic (n = 56) compared to a stalk sited EPP (n = 11): prevalence of MPHD was greater (55% vs. 9%,P = 0.05) and EPP surface area was smaller (17.3 [2.4-48.2] vs. 25.3 [11.8-38.5] mm(2), P < 0.001). In regression analysis, after adjusting for age, presence of MPHD was associated with: major incidents during pregnancy (RR 6.8 [95%CI 1.2-37.7]), hypothalamic EPP site (RR 10.9 [1.0-123.9]) and small EPP SA (RR 2.5 [1.0-5.0] for tertiles of SA). Conclusion In patients with an EPP, adverse antenatal events, size (small) and position (hypothalamic) of the posterior pituitary gland on MRI were associated with MPHD. These findings suggest that adverse factors during pregnancy may be important for the development of an EPP.