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Neurol India. 2018 Nov-Dec;66(6):1680-1684. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.246236.

Pons ratio as a potential diagnostic biomarker for the detection of growth hormone deficiency in children.

Author information

Department of Radiology, Adnan Menderes University School of Medicine, Aydin, Turkey.
Department of Neurosurgery, Adnan Menderes University School of Medicine, Aydin, Turkey.
Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Adnan Menderes University School of Medicine, Aydin, Turkey.
Seattle Science Foundation, Seattle, Washington, USA.



Pituitary insufficiency (PI) needs further research to optimize treatment. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a subtype of PI. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the possible relationship between GHD and the anatomical position of the pons as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the pediatric age group. In the current study, we developed a novel and simple index using MRI that could provide an alternative to other indexes in the classical literature.

Patients and Methods:

Brain MRI and clinical data of 48 children with suspected PI (22 females, 26 males; mean age 11.6 ± 2.2 years) were examined retrospectively. To estimate the location of the pons, the ratio of pons height over the axis between the dorsum sellae and the fourth ventricular hill in the sagittal plane (A) to the total height of the pons (B) was calculated (A/B). It was termed the pons ratio (PR). The PRs of children with or without a diagnosis of GHD were then compared statistically.


Fifteen children were diagnosed with GHD and treated with growth hormone (GH), whereas the remaining 33 were reported normal. The mean PRs of the children diagnosed with GHD and given GH treatment (0.31 ± 0.07, range: 0.18-0.42) differed significantly from those without PI (0.26 ± 0.06, range: 0.17-0.44; P = 0.018).


There appears to be an association between GHD and decreased PR in children receiving GH treatment. Spatial measurements of posterior fossa in radiological examinations may provide additional information that is helpful in the diagnosis of suspected cases of GHD.


Magnetic resonance imaging; pediatric population; pituitary insufficiency; pons; posterior fossa

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