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      Longitudinal study of patients with idiopathic isolated TSH deficiency: possible progression of pituitary dysfunction in lymphocytic adenohypophysitis.

      Endocrine journal

      Adult, Aged, Disease Progression, Female, Humans, Hypopituitarism, etiology, Longitudinal Studies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Pituitary Diseases, complications, physiopathology, Pituitary Function Tests, Pituitary Gland, pathology, radiography, Thyrotropin, deficiency

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          The relationship between isolated TSH deficiency and hypophysitis was studied. Six patients (five women and one man) with idiopathic isolated TSH deficiency were longitudinally investigated with an interval of 31 to 60 months. Clinical symptoms, laboratory results and endocrine function were investigated as well as pituitary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the start and the end of the study. Clinically, initial symptoms due to hypothyroidism were ameliorated by the thyroid hormone replacement in all patients. Oligomenorrhea newly appeared during the study in three patients, although no other symptoms appeared. Serum fT3 and fT4 levels were within the reference ranges, and serum TSH level and its response to TRH stimulation remained low in all patients. Peak plasma GH level during GRH stimulation was significantly (p<0.03) decreased, at the end of the study as compared with the start. Peak plasma FSH level to LHRH stimulation was significantly (p<0.03) decreased as well as basal FSH level. In contrast, peak of prolactin during TRH stimulation was significantly (p<0.03) increased at the end of the study as compared with the start as well as basal prolactin level. Endocrine features at the end of the study were compatible with those of lymphocytic adenohypophysitis (LAH). MRI of the pituitary gland showed empty sella in one patient and slight swelling in two patients. These findings remained unchanged during the study period. One patient underwent pituitary biopsy, with histological examination showing atypical form of LAH. LAH can cause idiopathic isolated TSH deficiency and can functionally progress to combine dysfunction of the pituitary gland.

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