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Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità

Print version ISSN 0021-2571


POGGI, Maurizio et al. Primary empty sella and GH deficiency: prevalence and clinical implications. Ann. Ist. Super. Sanità [online]. 2012, vol.48, n.1, pp.91-96. ISSN 0021-2571.

Primary empty sella (PES) is a particular anatomical condition characterized by the herniation of liquor within the sella turcica. The pathogenesis of this alteration, frequently observed in general population, is not yet completely understood. Recently reports demonstrated, in these patients, that hormonal pituitary dysfunctions, specially growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) axis ones, could be relevant. The aim of this paper is to evaluate GH/IGF-I axis in a group of adult patients affected by PES and to verify its clinical relevance. We studied a population of 28 patients with a diagnosis of PES. In each patient we performed a basal study of thyroid, adrenal and gonadal - pituitary axis and a dynamic evaluation of GH/IGF-I after GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) plus arginine stimulation test. To evaluate the clinical significance of GH/IGF-I axis dysfunction we performed a metabolic and bone status evaluation in every patients. We found the presence of GH deficit in 11 patients (39.2 %). The group that displayed a GH/IGF-I axis dysfunction showed an impairment in metabolic profile and bone densitometry. This study confirms the necessity to screen the pituitary function in patients affected by PES and above all GH/IGF-I axis. Moreover the presence of GH deficiency could be clinically significant.

Keywords : primary empty sella syndrome; growth hormone; osteoporosis.

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