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Stroke. 2004 Dec;35(12):2884-9. Epub 2004 Oct 21.

High incidence of neuroendocrine dysfunction in long-term survivors of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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  • 1Department of Critical Care Medicine, Evangelismos Hospital, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Athens, Greece.



To investigate the incidence, pattern, and magnitude of neuroendocrine changes in long-term survivors of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).


Thirty patients (16 women) with a mean age of 50+/-13 years underwent endocrine assessment between 12 and 24 months after aneurysmal SAH. SAH severity was graded clinically by the Hunt & Hess scale (median, II) and radiologically by the Fisher classification (median, II). Patients underwent measurement of basal hormone levels and dynamic assessment by the low-dose (1 microg) corticotropin stimulation test. Functional outcome was examined concurrently with endocrine testing by the modified Rankin Scale and the Barthel Index.


Of the 30 patients tested, 14 patients (47%) showed isolated or combined endocrine abnormalities. These included low insulin-like growth factor 1 levels compatible with growth hormone deficiency in 37%, hypogonadism in 13%, and cortisol hyporesponsiveness to the low-dose corticotropin stimulation test in 10%; thyroid dysfunction in the form of subclinical hypothyroidism was observed in 7% of patients. Median modified Rankin Scale and Barthel Index at the time of endocrine testing were 1 and 100, respectively. There was no correlation between the presence of endocrine dysfunction and SAH severity indices or functional outcome scores.


Long-term survivors of aneurysmal SAH frequently exhibit endocrine changes, with growth hormone and gonadal deficiencies predominating. Thus, screening of pituitary function is recommended in patients surviving SAH. The relationship between late hormonal alterations and functional outcome in patients with SAH warrants further study.

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