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September 1968

Erythropoietin Excretion in a Hypopituitary PatientEffects of Testosterone and Vasopressin

Arch Intern Med. 1968;122(3):265-270. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.00300080073014

In animals1-3 and man4,5 the anemia of hypophysectomy was corrected by replacement of "target organ" hormones, and the red cell mass (RCM) of prepubertal pituitary dwarfs was increased by human growth hormone. However, testosterone was required to obtain values in the adult male range.6 Removal of testosterone from the regimen of such patients should therefore result in a decrease of the RCM to that of the prepubertal range.

Deletion of testosterone from the regimen of a patient with panhypopituitarism, diabetes insipidus, and polycythemia failed to reduce the RCM to expected levels and prompted investigation into the effect of intramuscular vasopressin injections (Pitressin) on erythropoiesis and erythropoietin excretion in man.

Patient Summary  Six years after removal of a chromophobe adenoma, a 48-year-old man developed panhypopituitarism and diabetes insipidus. Maintenance therapy consisted of 0.2 gm of thyroid extract (later 300μg of levothyroxine sodium) and 37.5 mg of cortisone acetate

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