(PHP; Underactive Pituitary Gland)
by Diana Kohnle
The pituitary gland is found at the base of the brain. It produces several important hormones that control the production of other hormones made by glands in the body. In panhypopituitarism, the gland produces an insufficient amount of hormones.
This condition is most often caused by damage to the gland. In adults, it is usually a result of pituitary surgery. In children, damage to the pituitary gland may be caused by:
These risk factors increase your chance of developing panhypopituitarism. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
Compression of the Tumor
Compression of the tumor on local structures, especially the nerves of the eyes, can cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment depends on the cause of the condition. The goal of treatment is to restore normal blood hormone levels of thyroid, adrenal, estrogen or testosterone, and sometimes growth hormone.
Treatment options include:
The Hormone Foundation
The Pituitary Network
About Kids Health
Bhasin S, Cunningham GR, Hayes FJ, et al. Testosterone therapy in adult men with androgen deficiency syndromes: an endocrine society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91:1995-2010.
Diabetes & other endocrine and metabolic disorders: hypopituitarism. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.lpch.or... . Accessed May 30, 2007.
Geffner M. Panhypopituitarism. The Magic Foundation website. Available at: http://64.233.167.... . Accessed May 30, 2007.
Randeva HS, Schoebel J, Byrne J, et al. Classical pituitary apoplexy: clinical features, management and outcome. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) . 1999;51:181-188.
Schneider HJ, Aimaretti G, Kreitschmann-Andermahr I, et al. Hypopituitarism. Lancet. 2007;269:1461-1470.
Toogood AA, Stewart PM. Hypopituitarism: clinical features, diagnosis, and management. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1998;37:235-261
What is a growth disorder? Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.... . Accessed May 30, 2007.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Kim Carmichael, MD