Radiation-induced empty sella (ES) or pituitary atrophy/small pituitary and endocrine impairments, including pituitary and gonadal dysfunction, can manifest decades after radiation and chemotherapy in childhood-onset leukemia patients who received prophylactic cranial irradiation or total body irradiation in preparation for bone marrow transplant. Six childhood-onset leukemia patients (age at diagnosis of leukemia; 2.7–10.2 years) participated in this study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pituitary gland and endocrinological studies were performed 10.5–32.1 years after cranial irradiation. In four of the six patients examined, ES or pituitary atrophy was detected approximately 10.5–19.8 years after cranial irradiation. Four patients had hypogonadism (primary, 3; hypothalamic-pituitary, 1) and one had primary hypothyroidism. We conclude that ES or pituitary atrophy and endocrine impairments can manifest decades after radiation and chemotherapy in childhood-onset leukemia. These patients should, therefore, undergo regular follow-up, including pituitary MRI and hormonal examinations.
Childhood-onset leukemia Total body irradiation Cranial irradiation Endocrine impairments Radiation-induced empty sella/pituitary atrophy
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