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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2006 May;19(5):691-703.

Hypothalamo-hypophysial dysfunction after traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents: a preliminary retrospective and prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, Regina Margherita Children's Hospital, Piazza Polonia 94, 10126 Turin, Italy.


With two study protocols, one retrospective and the other prospective, we evaluated hypothalamo-hypophysial dysfunction (HHD) in paediatric patients treated for traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the neurosurgical or intensive care department at our hospital. The retrospective group comprised 22 patients who had experienced TBI 0.7-7.25 years before the study. The prospective group included 30 patients assessed at TBI (T0), 26 of 30 after 6 months (T6), and 20 of 26 after 12 months (T12). Auxological and hormonal basal parameters of hypothalamo-hypophysial function were evaluated at recall in the retrospective group, and at T0, T6 and T12 in the prospective group. Basal data and standard dynamic tests in selected patients revealed one with precocious puberty, one with total anterior hypopituitarism, one with central hypogonadism, and one with growth hormone (GH) deficiency in the retrospective group; three patients with cerebral salt-wasting syndrome, one with diabetes insipidus and seven with low T3 syndrome at T0 (all transient), one with hypocorticism at T6 confirmed at T12, and one with GH deficiency at T12 in the prospective group. The results of our study show that post-TBI HHD in our paediatric cohort is not uncommon. Of the 48 patients who underwent a complete evaluation (22 retrospective study patients and 26 prospective study patients evaluated at T6) five (10.4%) developed HHD 6 months or more after TBI. HHD was newly diagnosed in one previously normal patient from the prospective group at 12 months after TBI. GH deficiency was the most frequent disorder in our paediatric cohort.

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