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November 1959

Diabetic Retinopathy and the Pituitary

Author Affiliations

Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;62(5):859-863. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.04220050119019

The influence that pituitary function has on diabetes has long been known. The existence of diabetic retinopathy in patients having pituitary tumors has been referred to only briefly in the literature. Hypophysectomy has been performed to try to control diabetic retinopathy; the rationale being to eliminate pituitary factors possessing diabetogenic action.

The causative factors producing diabetic retinopathy or accounting for its progression are not known. Other than the time required for the development of diabetic retinopathy, the only factor seemingly related to the incidence and severity of retinopathy has been the degree of control of the diabetes.1 The pituitary gland in diabetes shows no constant significant structural change.2

Pituitary Factors Possessing Diabetogenic Action  A pure diabetogenic substance has not been isolated. It is generally agreed that the pituitary adrenocorticotrophic and growth hormones exert a diabetogenic action. Young3 has speculated that the pituitary diabetogenic substance and the growth

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