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Journal Article

Diagnosis of Primary Hypophysitis in Germany


Stieg,  Mareike
Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Honegger, J., Schlaffer, S., Menzel, C., Droste, M., Werner, S., Elbelt, U., et al. (2015). Diagnosis of Primary Hypophysitis in Germany. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ENDOCRINOLOGY & METABOLISM, 100(10), 3841-3849.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-AE47-5
Context: Representative data on diagnostic findings in primary hypophysitis (PrHy) are scarce. Objective: The objective of the study was to collate consistent data on clinical features in a large series of patients with PrHy. Another objective was to gain information on current practice in a diagnostic work-up. Design: The Pituitary Working Group of the German Society of Endocrinology conducted a nationwide retrospective cross-sectional cohort study in Germany. Patients: Seventy-six patients with PrHy were identified. Main Outcome Measures: Clinical and endocrinological features were assessed. Results: Headache (50%) and increase in body mass (18%) were the most frequent nonendocrine symptoms. Hypophysitis was associated with pregnancy in only 11% of the female patients. Diabetes insipidus was found in 54% of the patients at presentation. Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism was the most frequent endocrine failure (62%), whereas GH deficiency was the least frequent (37%). With 86%, thickening of the pituitary stalk was the prevailing neuroradiological sign. Compared with surgical cases, the cases without histological confirmation presented more often with suprasellar lesions and had less severe nonendocrine symptoms. Granulomatous hypophysitis was associated with more severe clinical symptoms than lymphocytic hypophysitis. Examination of cerebrospinal fluid was predominantly performed in participating neurosurgical centers, whereas thyroid antibodies were almost exclusively assessed in endocrinological centers. Conclusion: In contrast to the literature, hypogonadism was found to be the most frequent endocrine failure in PrHy. Weight gain was identified as a clinical sign of PrHy. In the majority of patients, PrHy can be reliably identified by characteristic clinical signs and symptoms, obviating histological confirmation. The diagnostic approach should be standardized in PrHy.