Pituitary dysfunction following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is significant and rarely considered by clinicians. This topic has received much more attention in the last decade. The incidence of post TBI anterior pituitary dysfunction is around 30% acutely, and declines to around 20% by one year. Growth hormone and gonadotrophic hormones are the most common deficiencies seen after traumatic brain injury, but also the most likely to spontaneously recover. The majority of deficiencies present within the first year, but extreme delayed presentation has been reported. Information on posterior pituitary dysfunction is less reliable ranging from 3%-40% incidence but prospective data suggests a rate around 5%. The mechanism, risk factors, natural history, and long-term effect of treatment are poorly defined in the literature and limited by a lack of standardization. Post TBI pituitary dysfunction is an entity to recognize with significant clinical relevance. Secondary hypoadrenalism, hypothyroidism and central diabetes insipidus should be treated acutely while deficiencies in growth and gonadotrophic hormones should be initially observed.
- Journal Article