What is panhypopituitarism?

The term panhypopituitarism is used to describe a condition where there is a decrease or complete deficiency in the production of all pituitary gland hormones. Another condition that is similar to this one is called hypopituitarism. Hypopituitarism causes a decrease in the function of two or more pituitary gland hormones. Both conditions are rare and complex. 
The pituitary gland is part of the endocrine system that makes hormones that help to control other endocrine glands in the body. The anterior pituitary helps to produce thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) aka thyrotropin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), growth hormone (GH), and prolactin (PRL). The posterior pituitary makes vasopressin aka antidiuretic hormone (ADH), and oxytocin
Panhypopituitarism is often caused by damage to the pituitary gland, but the cause of the damage can vary. Signs and symptoms of the condition can also vary greatly from person to person. 
Risk factors
  • Radiation treatment
  • Head trauma
  • Surgical removal of the pituitary gland
  • Certain tumors affecting the pituitary gland
  • Certain infections 
Diagnosis of panhypopituitarism will likely include a complete medical history and physical exam. The condition is most often detected during childhood. The doctor will pay close attention to any signs and symptoms one may be experiencing. 
Some tests that may be done to diagnose panhypopituitarism include:
  • Recognizing hormonal deficiencies that the condition is causing. This can be done by doing a variety of different blood tests. 
  • Genetic testing to look for any mutations that could be associated with the condition. 
  • Imaging tests to look for any abnormalities in the pituitary gland such as X-rays and MRIs.
  • Stimulation or dynamic testing: This is done at an endocrine clinic and is used to see how well your body secretes certain hormones after taking medications that should stimulate the secretion of these hormones. 
Treatment for panhypopituitarism may differ depending on what is causing the condition. The treatments may also vary depending on what hormones the person is deficient in. Treatment will likely need to be lifelong. 
Possible treatments may include:
  • Growth hormone injections
  • ACTH hormone replacement 
  • Thyroid hormone replacement 
  • Gonadotropin aka puberty hormone replacement 
  • ADH replacement
  • There is not much data on the prevalence of panhypopituitarism or hypopituitarism since they are caused by various conditions and problems associated with hormone deficiencies.


about panhypopituitarism


  • "Panhypopituitarism." WebMD. Medscape, 27 Apr. 2017. Web. 27 Nov. 2017.
  • “Panhypopituitarism/Tumor.” The Magic Foundation, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2017.
  • “Growth hormone deficiency-children.” Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2017.
  • “Hypopituitarism and Panhypopituitarism.” Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Cincinnati Children’s, Jun. 2017. Web. 27 Nov. 2017. 
  • “Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis.” Vertical Health. Endocrine Web, 27 May. 2014. Web. 27 Nov. 2017.  
  • “Hypopituitarism.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Mayo Clinic, 22 Aug. 2017. Web. 30 Nov. 2017. 


If you are worried about your child's growth and development, check out this infographic for an introduction to the different types of growth disorders and their causes:
all about growth disorders


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