Print version ISSN 0100-3984
LOUREIRO, Rafaela A. and VAISMAN, Mário. Progressive pituitary hormone deficiency following radiation therapy in adults. Radiol Bras [online]. 2004, vol.37, n.5, pp. 365-369. ISSN 0100-3984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-39842004000500011.
Hypopituitarism can be caused by radiation therapy, even when it is not directly applied on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, and can lead to anterior pituitary deficiency mainly due to hypothalamic damage. The progressive loss of the anterior pituitary hormones usually occurs in the following order: growth hormone, gonadotropin hormones, adrenocorticotropic hormone and thyroid-stimulating hormone. Although there are several different tests available to confirm anterior pituitary deficiency, this paper will focus on the gold standard tests for patients submitted to radiation therapy. We emphasize that the decline of anterior pituitary function is time- and dose-dependent with some variability among the different axes. Therefore, awareness of the need of a joint management by endocrinologists and oncologists is essential to improve treatment and quality of life of the patients.
Keywords : Radiotherapy; Hypopituitarism; Anterior pituitary; Diagnosis; Quality of life.