Acute pancreatitis in a girl with panhypopituitarism due to craniopharyngioma on growth hormone treatment. A combination of risk factors

Horm Res. 2009;71(6):372-5. doi: 10.1159/000223423. Epub 2009 Jun 9.


Craniopharyngioma is a rare, benign, suprasellar brain tumor associated with a significant number of endocrine and metabolic impairments. Growth hormone deficiency, caused by the tumor itself or by its subsequent surgical treatment, is the most common hormone deficiency in these patients and replacement is frequently necessary. Hypothalamic obesity observed after surgery treatment, whether combined with radiotherapy or not, presents with increased abdominal fat and altered lipid profiles and is likely caused by both disruption of the mechanisms controlling satiety, hunger and energy balance and impairment of sensitivity to leptin, insulin and ghrelin axis. It is well known that hyperlipemia is associated with acute pancreatitis, both as a precipitant and as an epiphenomenon. Moreover, the increased incidence of acute pancreatitis during growth hormone therapy is possibly due to increased enzyme production (e.g., amylase, lipase and elastase). We report the case of a 13-year-old girl affected by craniopharyngioma on growth hormone replacement treatment who developed acute pancreatitis. We suggest including routine evaluation of lipid profile during follow-up of all children on growth hormone treatment, especially those affected by hypopituitarism secondary to craniopharyngioma, given pancreatic adverse effects of growth hormone replacement therapy and associated metabolic impairment due to hypothalamic obesity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amylases / blood
  • Craniopharyngioma / blood
  • Craniopharyngioma / complications
  • Craniopharyngioma / drug therapy*
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy*
  • Human Growth Hormone / adverse effects*
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypopituitarism / blood
  • Hypopituitarism / drug therapy*
  • Hypopituitarism / etiology
  • Lipase / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Pancreatitis / blood
  • Pancreatitis / chemically induced*
  • Recombinant Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use


  • Lipids
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Lipase
  • Amylases