Disorders of Pituitary Function:
The disorders of pituitary function result in following conditions.
Hypopituitarism: Growth Hormone (GH) Deficiency Hypopituitarism is primarily a disorder associated with deficient secretion of GH (somatropin).
It may be caused by a variety of conditions which may include developmental defects, destructive lesions such as tumors, trauma, vascular abnormalities, or surgery, certain hereditary disorders, or functional disorders such as anorexia nervosa or psychosocial dwarfism. In more than half of children with hypopituitarism, no lesion is evident and the cause is unknown- idiopathic hypopituitarism or idiopathic pituitary growth failure. The children with hypopituitarism may be normal at birth but later during infancy there is deviation in growth from normal growth rate. Treatment consists of replacement of growth hormone and in cases where cause is due to organic lesion then surgical removal of lesion is done.
If the excess of Growth Hormone (GH) occurs prior to closure of the epiphysieal shafts it results in proportional overgrowth of long bones until the individual reaches a height of 8 feet or more. There is rapid and increased development of muscles and viscera along with vertical growth. Weight is increased but is usually in proportion to height. Also there is proportional enlargement of head circumference which may result in delayed closure of the fontanels. Children with a pituitary-secreting tumor may also demonstrate signs of increased intracranial pressure, especially headache. If hypersecretion of GH occurs after epiphyseal closure, growth takes place in the transverse direction, producing a condition known as acromegaly.