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Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Jul;14(4):283-291. doi: 10.1080/17446651.2019.1620599. Epub 2019 May 27.

Pituitary disease in pediatric brain tumor survivors.

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a Division of Pediatric Endocrinology , Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine , Cincinnati , OH , USA.



Treatment of childhood brain tumors, including surgical resection and especially external beam radiation, often results in endocrine complications manifested by hypopituitarism, which can involve growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, disorders of puberty, diabetes insipidus, and hypothalamic obesity.


A comprehensive literature search was conducted on Medline (publications from the 1990s to 01/2019) including systematic reviews, meta-analyses, longitudinal controlled studies, retrospective cohort studies, and case reports. Herein, we present an up-to-date review of the current literature regarding endocrine sequellae of childhood brain tumor survivors.


Late endocrine sequellae can arise many years after the initial treatment of tumor, so at least annual surveillance of growth, puberty, weight, development, and endocrine status is recommended for at least 10 years after tumor therapy. This follow up should encompass childhood and adulthood among survivors. If found early, outcomes of endocrinopathies are favorable when treated appropriately. Newer tumor therapy modalities, such as proton beam radiation, offer the potential for fewer endocrine complications, but such benefit has yet to be demonstrated, and more research into short- and long-term outcomes is needed.


Brain; cancer; chemotherapy; childhood; endocrine; hypopituitarism; late effect; radiation; sequellae

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