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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2007 Jan;66(1):95-102.

Hormonal, pituitary magnetic resonance, LHX4 and HESX1 evaluation in patients with hypopituitarism and ectopic posterior pituitary lobe.

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Unidade de Endocrinologia do Desenvolvimento, Laboratorio de Hormonios e Genetica Molecular LIM 42, Disciplina de Endocrinologia - HCFMUSP, Brazil.



LHX4 and HESX1 are important in early stages of pituitary development and their mutations can be associated with an ectopic posterior lobe (EPL) in the pituitary of patients with hypopituitarism. The EPL can be located at the median eminence or at the path of the pituitary stalk. The aim of this study was to analyse LHX4 and HESX1 and characterize the hormonal deficiency profiles, establishing relationships with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in these patients.


Sixty-two patients with hypopituitarism associated with EPL were submitted to evaluation of pituitary function, analysis of MRI with EPL location and molecular analysis of LHX4 and HESX1 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), digestion with restriction enzyme and automatic sequencing.


Forty-two patients had a nonvisualized pituitary stalk (NPS), and 20 a visualized pituitary stalk (VPS). Most patients (95%) with NPS had combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD), with ACTH deficiency in 85%. In patients with VPS, CPHD was found in 50% and ACTH deficiency occurred in only 20%. The frequency of the location of EPL was similar in patients with VPS and NPS: 35% at median eminence and 65% at the path of the stalk. No mutations in LHX4 and HESX1 were identified. Three new polymorphisms in LHX4 were found.


ACTH deficiency is frequent in patients with hypopituitarism and NPS (85%), the location of EPL at the median eminence was not predictive of the hormonal profile [isolated GH deficiency (IGHD) or CPHD], and LHX4 and HESX1 genes mutations remain rare causes of hypopituitarism associated with EPL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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