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September 1973

The Pituitary and Primary Hypothyroidism: Enlargement and Unusual Growth Hormone Secretory Responses

Author Affiliations


From the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Northwestern University McGraw Medical Center, Chicago. Dr. Hagen is now with the Medical School of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(3):327-333. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650090011003

Enlargement of the pituitary gland in longstanding myxedema has been found in pathologic material obtained by autopsy. However, antemortem recognition of a causal relationship between hyperplasia of the pituitary and adult-acquired primary hypothyroidism has been reported infrequently.

Our observations suggest that target gland failure, perhaps primary hypothyroidism in particular, can lead to pituitary enlargement more frequently than formerly supposed. Furthermore, an overlap of secretory signals within the hypothalamus or at the level of the hypophysis may influence the clinical expression of the syndrome of pituitary hyperplasia and hyperfunction in patients with specific target gland failure.

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