Twenty six patients with Sheehan's syndrome were studied with high-resolution computed tomography (CT) and the sequential pituitary stimulation test in order to correlate the CT findings of the sella turcica with the pituitary reserve functions. CT revealed 21 completely empty sella (CES), 4 partially empty sella (PES) and 1 normal sella. Panhypopituitarism occurred in 1 of 4 patients with PES and 20 of 21 with CES. One patient showing normal sella had a normal preservation of prolactin (PRL), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and lutenizing hormone (LH). In all patients with PES and CES, growth hormone (GH) responses to hypoglycemia and PRL responses to thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) were blunted. Three (75.0%) with PES had normal basal cortisol levels, which were more frequent than two (9.6%) with CES; however, most of the PES (3 of 4) and CES (20 of 21) demonstrated blunted cortisol responses to hypoglycemia. Three (75.0%) with PES and only one (4.8%) with CES had normal thyroxine levels and TSH responses to TRH. None with PES showed decreased basal and stimulated levels of FSH and LH, whereas 15 of 21 with CES did. The pituitary functions of the patients having considerable amounts of pituitary remnants visualized by CT were relatively preserved for TSH, cortisol, FSH and LH. Considering the above results, changes in the amounts of pituitary remnants detected by CT might correlate with hormonal secretory capacity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine