Definition of Panhypopituitarism

Reviewed on 6/3/2021

Panhypopituitarism: Inadequate or absent production of the anterior pituitary hormones due to various causes. The anterior pituitary produces the hormones thyrotropin (thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH]), corticotropin (adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH]), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), growth hormone (GH), and prolactin (PRL). Also known as hypopituitarism. The condition may occur at birth or may be acquired later in life. Acquired hypopituitarism is more common than the congenital (present at birth) form. Symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, decrease in sex drive, infertility, sensitivity to cold, decreased facial or body hair in men, and puffiness of the face.

Acquired panhypopituitarism can occur as a result of tumors in the pituitary gland. It can also arise due to head injuries, radiation treatment, autoimmune conditions, stroke, brain infections, or brain surgery.

Pituitary dwarfism is dwarfism caused by a lack of growth hormone, usually due to malfunction of the pituitary gland. Children with growth hormone deficiency may grow normally for the first two to three years of life, but they then fall behind their peers in height. They are normally proportioned. This is a key point. Treatment is with human growth hormone given in childhood. Also known as hypopituitary dwarfism and growth hormone deficiency.

Kasper, D., et al. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine." McGraw-Hill Education/Medical. 19th edition. 2015

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