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Nihon Naibunpi Gakkai Zasshi. 1992 Oct 20;68(10):1096-111.

[Hyperresponsiveness of TSH and prolactin and impaired responsiveness of GH in Japanese patients with isolated ACTH deficiency].

[Article in Japanese]

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Second Department of Internal Medicine, Kochi Medical School.


Two hundred and forty-one cases of isolated ACTH deficiency have been reported in Japan since 1969. Pituitary hormone responsiveness to stimulation tests before and after hydrocortisone supplementation was investigated in these cases. Plasma ACTH level showed no or little change in response to lysine vasopressin, metyrapone, CRF or insulin-induced hypoglycemia in 97.3-100% of the cases. Serum GH level changed little or not at all in response to GRF, insulin-induced hypoglycemia, glucagon, 1-dopa and arginine in 26.9, 29.3, 40.0, 50.0 and 56.1%, respectively. Serum TSH and prolactin (PRL) levels showed hyperresponse to TRH in 34.7 and 35.6%, respectively. After hydrocortisone therapy, GH secretion was more responsive than before therapy in 78.9% of the cases. After supplementation, TSH level was less responsive to TRH stimulation than before therapy in 59.3% of the cases. After hydrocortisone supplementation, TSH response to TRH decreased in 75% of ACTH-deficient patients without primary hypothyroidism but did not decrease in more than half of those with primary hypothyroidism. TSH response to TRH decreased after supplementation in 76.5% of the patients with TSH hyperresponsiveness before therapy, and increased after therapy in 66.7% of those with normal TSH responses before therapy. After supplementation, PRL response to TRH was less than that before therapy in 43.5% of ACTH--deficient patients, and greater than that before therapy in 30.4%. PRL response to TRH decreased after therapy in 66.7% of the patients with PRL hyperresponsiveness before therapy, and increased in 63.6% of those with normal PRL response before therapy. Primary hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis were complicated in 21.6 and 11.6%, respectively, of the 241 patients with isolated ACTH deficiency. In patients who had TSH hyperresponsiveness and/or high basal TSH levels and PRL hyperresponsiveness and/or high basal PRL levels, primary hypothyroidism was complicated in 58.4 and 42.3%, respectively. Hashimoto's thyroiditis was complicated in 29.8 and 20.5%, respectively, of these patients. Pituitary cell antibody (PCA) was detected in 36.6% of ACTH-deficient patients who were examined. Pituitary cell surface antibody (PCSA) to AtT-20 cells and GH3 cells was detected in 50.0 and 28.0% of the examined cases, respectively. The prevalence of PCA and PCSA did not differ between TSH-hyperresponsive patients and those with normal TSH basal levels and response, whereas PCA and PCSA were significantly more prevalent in PRL-hyperresponsive patients than in those with normal PRL levels and response. An empty sella was found in 30.2% of the examined case.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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