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Neuroradiology

, Volume 43, Issue 12, pp 1056–1058 | Cite as

Pituitary gland height evaluated by MR in patients with β-thalassemia major: a marker of pituitary gland function

  • M. Argyropoulou
  • D. Kiortsis
  • Z. Metafratzi
  • S. Bitsis
  • A. Tsatoulis
  • S. Efremidis
Diagnostic Neuroradiology

Abstract

In transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major, increased iron deposition in the pituitary gland has a cytotoxic effect leading mainly to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Our purpose was to assess in these patients the height of the pituitary gland and to evaluate whether it represents a marker of pituitary gland function. In 29 patients with β-thalassemia major and 35 age- and gender-matched controls the pituitary gland height was evaluated in a midline sagittal scan using a spin echo T1-weighted (500/20 TR/TE) sequence. In all patients, an extensive endocrine evaluation was performed, including measurements of spontaneous and stimulated levels of gonadotropins, thyroid hormones, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, and adrenal hormones. The pituitary gland height was lower in thalassemic patients with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (n=15) (mean 3.48; SD 0.46) than in the age- and gender-matched controls (mean 6.29; SD 0.77), (P<0.001). No statistically significant difference was found between thalassemic patients without hormone dysfunction (n=14) (mean 5.34; SD 1.52) and age- and gender-matched controls (mean 5.91; SD 1.06). We conclude that in thalassemic patients the pituitary gland height is an additional marker of pituitary gland function and might be useful in clinical management.

Pituitary Magnetic resonance imaging β-Thalassemia major Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Argyropoulou
    • 1
  • D. Kiortsis
    • 2
  • Z. Metafratzi
    • 1
  • S. Bitsis
    • 3
  • A. Tsatoulis
    • 3
  • S. Efremidis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 IoanninaGreece
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Medical School, University of IoanninaGreece
  3. 3.Endocrine Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of IoanninaGreece

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