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April 1969

Coexisting Anterior Pituitary and Neurohypophyseal Insufficiency: A Syndrome With Diagnostic Implication

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

From the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(4):409-416. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300140055013

Five patients who developed diabetes insipidus following the administration of corticotropin or cortisone were found to have coexisting anterior pituitary and neurohypophyseal insufficiency. In all five subjects, as in three similar patients reported in the literature, the combined deficiencies were the result of destructive lesions involving the hypothalamus with or without changes in the sella turcica. These five patients confirm the traditional endocrine concept based on animal experimental data that clinical manifestations of diabetes insipidus depend upon the functional integrity of the anterior lobe, in particular the median eminence-pituitary-adrenal axis. The observations suggest that the development of polyuria and polydipsia following corticotropin or steroid administration is diagnostic of hypothalamic dysfunction most commonly the result of tumor.