Does the type and severity of brain injury predict hypothalamo-pituitary dysfunction? Does post-traumatic hypopituitarism predict worse outcome?

Pituitary. 2008;11(3):255-61. doi: 10.1007/s11102-008-0102-x.


Several studies have reported a close association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and pituitary dysfunction, and expert panels have recently proposed recommendations for hormone assessment and replacement for pituitary insufficiency after TBI. Given the high incidence of TBI, identification of reliable predictors is of utmost importance in order to secure a cost-effective screening strategy. It has not yet been possible to identify early hormone alterations as a useful tool for the prediction of long-term post-traumatic hypopituitarism, whereas indicators of increased trauma severity have been reported as predictive in an increasing number of studies. Outcome studies have moreover indicated that post-traumatic hypopituitarism is of clinical significance, which may justify introduction of neuroendocrine screening in TBI. Much larger cohorts are, however, still needed for further evaluation and confirmation of reliable screening markers, and future studies should be designed to ensure a high diagnostic robustness for proper identification of reliable predictors, as the results may be highly dependent on diagnostic pitfalls.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Hypopituitarism / diagnosis
  • Hypopituitarism / etiology*
  • Hypopituitarism / metabolism
  • Hypopituitarism / physiopathology
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / metabolism
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiopathology*
  • Pituitary Function Tests
  • Pituitary Hormones / blood
  • Pituitary Hormones / deficiency*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Pituitary Hormones