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January 1975

Permanent Panhypopituitarism Associated With Maternal Deprivation: A Causal Relationship?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Unit of Growth and Metabolism, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn.

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(1):128-130. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120380098023

A 15-year-old boy with a history of maternal deprivation since age 2 years had severe growth retardation and panhypopituitarism. After one year in an appropriate foster home, there were no changes in his growth rate and pituitary function. This appears to be a case in which panhypopituitarism, probably secondary to maternal deprivation, was not corrected after placement in an appropriate environment. The normal increase in the concentration of serum thyroid stimulating hormone after the administration of protirelin (Thypinone) suggested that the primary abnormality was in the hypothalamic centers controlling the release of the pituitary hormones. Knowledge of the possibility of permanent panhypopituitarism secondary to maternal deprivation might encourage careful follow-up of these patients after placement.

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